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Guidance for Cinema/Theatre Safety

Cayman Islands Government
Published: November 22 2021
Last Updated: November 27, 2021

These guidelines are meant to guide cinema and movie theatre operators.

This information is based on currently available scientific evidence and expert opinion and is subject to change as new information becomes available. It should be read in conjunction with relevant national legislation, regulations, and policies. This document has been adapted for the Caribbean situation, and therefore may differ from guidance developed by other agencies.

This guidance serves as a minimum standard that should be adhered to by the relevant parties.  At all times individuals are to adhere to the current Covid-19 Regulations and the National Policy on the Use of Antigen-Detecting Rapid Diagnostic Tests (“Lateral Flow Tests”).

This guidance covers: 

 

You can also download the full guidance here:

Download Guidance

 

What are the potential COVID-19 risks for Activities associated with cinema and theatre operations?

There are several activities that are associated with the cinema and theatre operations that can place patrons and staff at risk of infection, should they be exposed to a person infected with COVID-19. These include ticket sales, queuing for entry into shows, foyer areas and concession stands, movie accessories and bathroom facilities.

There is also the issue of support sectors. Cinema and theatre industries rely heavily on other sectors in manufacturing and retail to supply the necessary products and services required. This means that cinema and theatre locations are often visited by supply deliveries or service personnel who potentially expose workers to the COVID-19 virus. All recommendations are based on reducing potential infection with the COVID-19 virus through contact with airborne virus particles or contact with virus-contaminated exposed surfaces.

 

How can these risks be reduced?

The following sections provide suggested measures to protect patrons, staff, and support services and minimise the spread of COVID-19. 

 

Personal Protection

Industry workers, patrons, service personnel and supporting businesses and industries have a responsibility to:

  • Maintain basic hand and respiratory hygiene, and avoid close contact, when possible, with anyone showing symptoms of respiratory illness such as coughing and sneezing.
  • Frequently clean hands by using alcohol-based hand rub (60-80% ethanol or isopropanol content) or soap and water.
  • When coughing and sneezing cover mouth and nose with flexed elbow or tissue – throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands.
  • Avoid close contact with anyone who has fever and cough.
  • If you have fever, cough and difficulty breathing seek medical care early and share previous travel history with your health care provider.

 

Risk assessment and Industry Personnel

Industry workers, patrons, service personnel and supporting businesses and industries have a responsibility to:

  • The top priority for managers should be to ensure compliance with workplace health and safety (WHS) guidelines. These COVID-19 guidelines should be used as a complementary guide to the WHS guidelines and should not be seen as a replacement of such. COVID-19 exposure should be added to the risk assessment protocols.
  • Mandate workers that are ill to stay at home.
  • Train all staff on new protocols for operation.
  • Pay attention to the service periodicity for heating, air conditioning, and ventilation (HVAC) systems to ensure filters are clean and working.

 

Measures to be Implemented by Management

Ticket Sales

  •  Encourage the use of online ticket purchases. This will reduce the queue line numbers and reduce the potential for overcrowding.
  • Stagger movie showings to reduce the number of patrons in different spaces at any one time.
  • Mandate the wearing of face masks for all patrons and personnel.
  • Where queue lines are present, ensure proper signage for hygiene and sanitation.
  • Use physical distancing markers on the ground especially for queue lines.
  • Ensure that ticket sale personnel (cashiers) are protected behind glass screens.

 

Queue for entering Cinema / Theatre Foyer:

  • Where queue lines are present, ensure proper signage for hygiene and sanitation.
  • Mandate the wearing of face masks for all patrons and personnel in queue lines.
  • Use physical distancing markers on the ground especially for queue lines.
  • Do temperature checks for all patrons as well as personnel entering the foyer.
  • Prohibit entry to any person with a temperature at 100.4 F or above or any individual that appears to exhibit flu-like illness.
  • Ensure the availability and use of handwashing stations and hand sanitisers on entry into the foyer.
  • Sanitise high touch surfaces regularly throughout the day using a CDC recommended sanitiser.
  • Mandate support services and goods providers to wear facemasks.
  • Limit or reduce exposure through unnecessary contact of workers with support services and goods providers.

Foyer and Concession stands:

  • Ensure proper signage for hygiene and sanitation in the Foyer. Include rules for physical distancing, loitering, concession stands and cinema seating.
  • Ensure the availability and use of hand sanitisers stations in the foyer.
  • Sanitise high touch surfaces regularly throughout the day using a DEH recommended sanitiser.
  • Mandate the wearing of face masks for all persons in the foyer.
  • Discourage loitering in the foyer areas.
  • Use queue lines with uni-directional (one-way), physical distancing arrows for entry into and out of concession areas. This would help to limit the chances of unnecessary breaches of physical distancing rules.
  • Use ushers to aid with traffic management.
  • Protect workers in the concession areas by using glass (or plexiglass) screens.

 

Cinema/ theatre viewing:

  • Enforce the wearing of masks by all persons while entering or leaving the cinema or theatre room, especially when passing through the aisles and seat rows.
  • Ensure that the cinema or theatre rooms are thoroughly cleaned and sanitised before each audience group enters the theatre. These include sanitisation of floors, seats, and all other high touch surfaces.
  • Ensure physical distancing rules are followed. Family groups can be seated together but maintain a 6-foot distance (approximately 3-4 seats) between groups.
  • Use ushers to aid with traffic management and seating arrangements.
  • Use disposable movie accessories (e.g. 3D glasses) or avoid the sharing of glasses by patrons, and where this is not possible, limit the viewing of 3D movies.

 

Bathroom areas

  • Limit the number of persons using the bathroom areas at the same time.
  • Use controlled queues to the bathroom areas.
  • Encourage patrons to continue to wear face masks while using the bathroom.
  • Where possible install automatic faucets, hand-soap dispensers, and hand sanitisers.
  • Ensure proper sanitation of the bathroom areas at regular intervals during and after shows.

Tags: Industry Guidance