Ras Al Khaimah Department of Economic Development Outlines Requirements for Reopening Cinemas in the Emirate
· The Department seeks to ensure business continuity and maintain high standards of public health and safety
In a circular issued yesterday, Ras Al Khaimah Department of Economic Development (RAKDED) has outlined a set of requirements and procedures for reopening cinemas in the Emirate, in line with the precautions set to curb the spread of the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19).
The new procedures aim to ensure public health and safety in Ras Al Khaimah, as well as business continuity, which serves to maintain the Emirate’s sustainable development. Commercial institutions may resume their economic activities as of Tuesday, June 23, 2020, provided they meet the conditions and procedures outlined in the circular.
Elderly individuals over 70 years of age and people suffering from respiratory diseases are not permitted to enter cinemas. Meanwhile, screenings must be conducted at a reduced frequency to allow for sufficient time to disinfect individual theaters after every screening for a full 20 minutes, and social distance spacing signs should be placed in front of ticketing booths and payment outlets, with all customers made to line up in one single queue only – all parallel queues must be closed.
Customers are encouraged to make reservations and purchase tickets online to avoid physical contact, while theaters must shut down all touch-screens used to browse movies and purchase tickets. The distribution of promotional flyers is also prohibited.
Food and beverages are allowed inside the cinema theaters only, in order to avoid crowding in the food courts. All F&B items must be served in disposable, single-use Styrofoam containers, utensils and cups. Portions should be kept small to discourage sharing and blankets (usually provided with gold, platinum and VIP tickets) will no longer be available. Moreover, 3D and 4D movies are not to be screened, and 15-minute intervals must be maintained between each movie across the whole theater complex to avoid crowding at the gates and entry points.
Health and Safety
The circular calls on all movie theaters to test their staff for COVID-19; facilities will not be permitted to re-open unless they meet this prerequisite and obtain test results of all employees from the relevant authorities. Theaters must take the temperature of all employees and customers at the entrance, barring any individual showing symptoms of the disease or having a fever exceeding 38 degrees Celsius from entering the premises.
Employees must wear protective masks and gloves at all times, while sanitisation stations should be set up around the premises, the theaters, entrances and exits. The ticketing box office and self-service ticketing devices (even though not in use) should be disinfected every hour, while the entire facility needs to be fully sanitised every day. Customers are also required to wear protective masks at all times, only removing them to consume food.
Social distancing must be observed in all theaters, with the implementation of horizontal spacing measures whereby there is a two-seat gap between customers in each row, as well as vertical spacing whereby only every second row can be occupied by customers, leaving one-row gaps. Social distancing signs must be placed on the floor to help customers comply.
Movie theaters must communicate with the public through digital channels and the media to inform them of these precautionary guidelines. Ads should be displayed in clear sight of the public, including at the entrances and other public places to avoid crowding. The circular called on all movie theaters to communicate with RAKDED when all the requirements are met in order to obtain approval to re-open the facility.