As we reported yesterday, Malaysian cinemas are allowed to start operating again starting from the 1st of July. While many of us are incredibly excited about it, the experience isn’t going to be quite the same as it was during the Pre-COVID-19 era. As with restaurants and other businesses that have been gradually allowed to operate since the government started loosening the Movement Control Order, there will be strict guidelines in place. These guidelines are, of course, necessary for our health and wellbeing in this new normal.
Here are some of the important SOPs (for goers and operators):
- Cinema-goers are required to provide personal details such as their names and contact numbers. You’ll also have to download the MySejahtera app and scan a QR code. (If you’ve been out and about lately, you’re probably already familiar with this shebang.)
- Kids, specifically those who are 12 and below, and elderly folk aged 60 and above, are not allowed to enter the halls. It is unclear how theatre operators are going to enforce this — IC checks, perhaps? (I know, there are some already wondering if they can sneak their teen-looking kids in or young-looking parents in. I don’t know. But I do know that elderly folk and kids are the most vulnerable to the COVID-19.)
- All the halls must be cleaned and sanitised regularly. (Who else thinks this shit should be a permanent SOP?)
- Physical distancing must be practised both inside and outside the halls. (I’m guessing cinema operators would only sell 40-50% of the seats in each hall. We will most likely have to bid goodbye to the full house experience for the foreseeable future, which of course sucks for people like me, who absolutely loves the whole opening night madness. But I guess not dying is more important than whistling and high-fiving the friend next to you when Dhanush pops up on screen).
Apart from these, there will also be the usual temperature checks, which most of us have probably already experienced by now. And it’s highly recommended that we wear a mask. Stop complaining — just pretend it’s a cheap Power Rangers cosplay.