China permits reopening of cinemas in low-risk areas from July 20
Beijing, July 16: China has permitted movie theatres in low-risk areas to resume business beginning July 20 with 30 per cent capacity as the coronavirus cases abated in the country.
China has the world's second-largest film market after Hollywood with a box office revenue of over 60.9 billion yuan (over USD 10 billion) in 2018. There are around 70,000 film theatres across the country. Chinese movie theatres in low-risk areas have been allowed to resume operation starting from July 20 following an improvement in the COVID-19 epidemic situation, the China Film Administration announced on Thursday.
The theatres should reopen on the premise that proper prevention and control measures have been put into place, it said, noting that cinemas should suspend their operation once their localities are adjusted to be medium- or high-risk areas. Attendance per show must not exceed 30 per cent, the Chinese Film Circulation and Projection Association said on Thursday.
Movie theatres across China were closed since January-end following the coronavirus outbreak, which struck Wuhan before spreading to other parts of the country and the world. As per the guidelines, cinemas are required to sell non-adjacent tickets in every other row and moviegoers who are strangers to each other should keep a distance of at least one metre, the state-run Xinhua news agency reported.
All moviegoers must make real-name reservations and purchase tickets online. Those without masks or having a body temperature above 37.3 deg C will not be admitted into the theatres, according to the guidelines.