Guidelines for Reopening Cinemas Announced

Saudi Arabia’s General Commission for Audiovisual Media has announced it has published guidelines to enable cinemas and theatres to reopen across the Kingdom. They will be allowed to reopen providing they comply with strict anti-Coronavirus measures. The guidelines state all cinemas have to place floor stickers or clear signs of spaces to ensure 1.5 to 2 metres of social distancing is observed in waiting areas like entrances, ticket sale outlets, food and beverage outlets and toilets. Chairs and seating areas will have to be arranged to ensure social distancing can be complied with. This will involve leaving two seats between two viewers in all directions. Families can sit together but must keep at least two metres between each of them. Customers should buy tickets online and designated reservation applications. Overcrowding at ticket counters should be avoided and hand sanitisers should be made available in line with the relevant requirements and be placed in prominent places which are easily accessible to all visitors. Ticket-specific touch devices and all printed copies and magazines should not be used while protocols for open entertainment spaces which are used as open-air cinemas should also be complied with. Cinema employees should comply with anti-Coronavirus measures including keeping their contact with customers to a minimum and wear face masks and gloves when dealing with them. They should also comply with social distancing rules when selling tickets or food and drinks and any other occasions. Finally, anyone not wearing a face mask should not be allowed in to the cinemas. If an employee is confirmed to have Coronavirus, the cinema or theatre must be closed down and the show suspended until all the premises are cleaned, sterilised and well ventilated to ensure there no risk of infection. Other employees should also be screened and isolated. Advertisements before the film starts should be used to make customers aware about Coronavirus and must include a demonstration about the procedures for safely entering and leaving the premises to avoid overcrowding. In addition, awareness publications should be distributed preferably electronically or printed behind tickets and be available in various languages. Billboards detailing unlawful practices and violations and how to report them to the authorities should also be erected. Full story

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