Movie theaters across China are going to be opening back up next week, ending an extended intermission caused by the coronavirus outbreak.
The China Film Administration announced on Thursday that most cinemas around China would be allowed to reopen on Monday (July 20) for the first time in about six months.
However, the theaters will not be able to immediately return to business as usual. In its announcement, the film administration also included a number of safety measures that must be carried out, including:
- Each screening must operate at only 30 percent capacity.
- All moviegoers must have their health QR code and temperature checked. Anyone with a temperature higher than 37.3 degrees Celsius will not be allowed inside.
- Moviegoers must also wear masks.
- Tickets will only be sold online via real-name registration.
- No food or drinks will be sold.
- Moviegoers will not be allowed to eat in the theaters.
- Each screening should not be more than two hours long.
- Moviegoers must be seated at least 1 meter apart.
Only those theaters in “low risk” areas for coronavirus transmission will be allowed to open. However, with the outbreak largely contained, that includes almost all of China.
The announcement is welcome news for China’s movie industry, which has been stalled for half a year with a number of blockbuster releases being postponed because of the pandemic. The Covid-19 outbreak also first hit right ahead of Spring Festival, the most profitable time of year for Chinese cinemas, leaving the industry in a massive hole.