The China Film Administration (CFA) announced on Thursday that almost six months of closure have almost ended with thousands of theaters going bankrupt.
“Effective implementation of prevention and control of movies in low-risk areas can effectively resume business on July 20 in an orderly manner,” he said. Central and high-risk areas must remain temporarily closed, “the administration said in a statement posted on its official website.” Once low-risk areas are designated as mid- or high-risk areas, they must strictly enforce epidemic prevention and control measures. Will …[and] Movies must be closed again in a timely fashion as per the requirements. “
The long-awaited green light came, yet cautiously this could mean that profits continue to prove elusive for the hard-hit Chinese exhibition sector.
Attendance at each screening will be equipped at 30%, the CFA said in a four-page document with specific guidelines and security measures, and the overall number of screenings per venue must be reduced to “half of them in a typical time.” Furthermore, the screening length of each film cannot exceed two hours, it says – without going into more detail about what it could mean for a longer film.
Discounts – the biggest for-profit movies – will be banned.
“Film screening venues will not sell snacks and drinks and eating and drinking in screening rooms is prohibited,” it said.
Other domestic businesses, such as restaurants or transportation, resumed operations in China a few months ago and currently do not face policy restrictions on their operating capabilities.
The CFA states that movies must follow “appropriate and scientific implementation of prevention and control.”
All tickets now have to be sold virtually through a registered online reservation and should be collected through a non-contact method, it said. Seats more than a meter away should be sold to different parties unknown to each other.
Public areas such as lobbies, corridors and bathrooms should be disinfected less than twice a day, while generally touched areas such as ticket vending machines, sales counters and public seats should be wiped less than five times a day. Armrests, 3D class and other such items should be disinfected frequently after each use. Ventilation in screening halls needs to be improved.
Masks will be made mandatory for both staff and customers, with temperatures taken for everyone entering the venue.
Workers returning to work from the middle and high-risk areas will be asked to isolate and “reduce unnecessary outings and avoid frequent crowded places.”
The CFA also outlined exactly the bureaucratic process by which the reopening would be overseen.
“Once the local film department in each region approves the local party committee and the government for a plan to reopen the cinema party at once, they should discuss with the local CDC how to reopen according to their rules.” Finally, plans for reopening in different regions must be reported to the CFA at the national level.