Cinemas in the Philippines to Strictly Enforce Health Protocols as Theaters Reopen

Now that cinemas are officially reopening in NCR (National Capital Region) after suddenly shutting down for a year and seven months, theater operators promise to leave no stone unturned to ensure the safety of moviegoers and cinema employees. This comes, as last October 13, the Inter-Agency Task Force Against Covid-19 (IATF), placed NCR under Alert Level 3 - allowing the reopening of cinemas, but with several restrictions: only fully vaccinated people will be admitted and seating capacity to be limited to 30 percent.  
Cinemas are safe spaces
There has been a thinking that cinemas are unsafe due to its enclosed nature and the time needed to watch a full feature film. But did you know that there’s a recent study in Germany which concluded cinemas are safer than almost any other indoor environment, as long as safety guidelines are followed like mask-wearing, physical distancing and proper air ventilation?  The same German research took into account the following factors in its conclusion:

- People spend an average of only two hours at a cinema 

- People inside the cinema simply sit down and face the same direction which is known to reduce transmission risks

- People are not talking to each other during a movie, which minimizes possibility of infection

Note: The aforementioned German study is entitled “Covid-19 Contagion via Aerosol Particles – A Comparative Evaluation of Indoor Environments” conducted by scientists at the Berlin Institute of Technology / Hermann-Rietschel-Institut. Link --

Cinemas will strictly impose all safety protocols

Aside from adhering to IATF-mandated health standards, CEAP has also developed the “Sa Sine Safe Ka” protocols patterned after the “CinemaSafe” measures set by America’s National Association of Theatre Owners (NATO) and endorsed by epidemiologists.  These protocols are:

- Monitoring of moviegoers’ body temperature as they enter the cinema

- Moviegoers to present authentic vaccination card

- Implement regulations set by the IATF and LGUs on facial coverings

- No eating inside the cinema

- Enforce socially-distanced seating

- Encourage contact-less transaction in ticket-purchasing

- Improved air ventilation

- Availability of hand sanitizers at the cinema entrance

- Mandatory hand-washing every 30 minutes for cinema employees

- Deep cleaning between screenings
Unlocking cinemas will save jobs

The 19-month long closure of cinemas has dealt a severe blow to the entire movie industry, leading to unprecedented massive unemployment.  It is estimated that a workforce of some 336,000 has lost its livelihood.  Hopefully as cinemas slowly start to reopen, these workers may now heave a sigh of relief.  

Photo Credit: All handout images grabbed with permission from SM Cinemas’ YouTube channel

About Cinema Exhibitors Association of the Philippines (CEAP)
Cinema Exhibitors Association of the Philippines (CEAP) is an association of cinema owners and operators in the country that works to represent its 47 members and to collaborate with the different stakeholders of the motion pictures exhibition industry towards the attainment of common good and objectives. CEAP is the only cinema exhibition trade organization in the country representing 1,039 movie screens nationwide.
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