Cover Here are polite behaviours moviegoers must follow inside the theatre (Photo:Luis Quintero/Pexels)

Excited about your joyous return to movie theatres? Don't forget these 7 safety guidelines

In case you missed it, cinemas are now allowed to operate in Metro Manila after the government declared a level three status of quarantine in the area. Under this level, places that promote leisure activities such as cinemas, theatres, theme parks, swimming pools, libraries, museums, and other tourist attractions can now open their doors to the public. 

Last Saturday, October 20, 2021, the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) announced that movie theatres in the National Capital Region (NCR) can open their doors again at a minimum of 30 per cent capacity. The ordinance-providing body added that only fully-vaccinated individuals are allowed inside.

See also: Movie Buffs Rejoice! 7 Movies to Watch as Cinemas Reopen in Metro Manila

Are Cinemas Safe Amid The Pandemic? Here's What Experts Say

Audiences are expected to throng the theatres to watch highly-anticipated film releases this year. However, experts say that this may not be a good idea at all. In a report by The Guardian, Stephen Griffin, a virologist at Leeds University, revealed that utilising movie theatres amid the global pandemic is not risk-free. “If you have 300 people in the cinema, the average chance is you’ll have three to four people infected in that cinema,” he said. “Are these things safe? The honest answer is you can’t say it’s completely risk-free.”

In the same report, Prof Tim Sharpe, head of architecture at the University of Strathclyde, noted that long-range movement of small virus-carrying aerosols can rapidly accumulate in poorly ventilated spaces. “If you’re right next to somebody then clearly the risk is increased, both in immediate contact and droplet transmission," the expert said.

Meanwhile, Shaun Fitzgerald, director of research in the Centre for Climate Repair at the University of Cambridge, assured that moviegoers can enjoy the cinemas as long as they provide relatively good ventilation. “Most theatres that I am aware of are mechanically ventilated [and] if they’ve been reasonably well maintained and not built in the distant past, the ventilation will be good, which is encouraging."

While going out for a movie day poses health concerns, folks who experience pandemic fatigue may envision recently-reopened cinemas as a pool of water amidst the desert. If going inside theatres seem inevitable, here are seven polite behaviours the movie buffs should consider inside: 

1. Bring your authentic vaccination card

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(Photo: Cottonbro/Pexels)
Above (Photo: Cottonbro/Pexels)

Vaccines protect people from the grave threats of COVID-19, this is why Metro Manila cinemas will require moviegoers to present their authentic vaccination cards. People who have forgotten their cards at home will be stopped at the entrance.

2. Never remove your face mask in the cinema

Eating popcorn while watching your favourite movie is arguably one of the best experiences in cinema; however, this will temporarily be banned amid the pandemic as moviegoers are not allowed to remove their face masks. 

Face masks limit the volume and travel distance of expiratory droplets dispersed by a person when he or she is talking, coughing, sneezing, and breathing. Face coverings reduce the chances of contracting COVID-19.

More from Tatler: 7 Tips On Etiquette During The Covid-19 Era

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(Photo: Ana Shvets/Pexels)
Above (Photo: Ana Shvets/Pexels)

3. Abide by social distancing rules

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(Pavel Danilyuk/Pexels)
Above (Pavel Danilyuk/Pexels)

People who will use the cinema in groups must separate as the movie plays. The Metro Manila theatres will impose social distancing rules that prohibit moviegoers to sit closely and side by side. 

4. Contact-less transaction is preferred

Moviegoers must take advantage of technology. In the digital age, online cash applications can be used to shop items, donate, pay, and even purchase cinema tickets. 

Related: The Grid: You Can Now Order Contactless And Dine Al-Fresco At Rockwell Streetside

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(Photo: Pavel Danilyuk/Pexels)
Above (Photo: Pavel Danilyuk/Pexels)

5. Don't talk while the movie is on-going

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(Photo: Shiny Diamond/Pexels)
Above (Photo: Shiny Diamond/Pexels)

Talking out loud and speaking to someone over your mobile phones are rules people observed even before the pandemic; but with the threats of the virus present, they must follow these rules strictly. Remember, the cinema is an enclosed space where bacteria thrives and hop from one person to another, the only way to keep yourself safe is by wearing your face mask at all times.

6. Disinfect after using the theatre

Once the movie is over, consider taking a mini comfort room break and wash your hands and wrists thoroughly. Below are five steps that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) approved

  • Wet your hands with clean, running water (warm or cold), turn off the tap, and apply soap.
  • Lather your hands by rubbing them together with the soap. Lather the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails.
  • Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds. Need a timer? Hum the “Happy Birthday” song from beginning to end twice.
  • Rinse your hands well under clean, running water.
  • Dry your hands using a clean towel or air dry them.
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(Photo: Burst/Pexels)
Above (Photo: Burst/Pexels)

7. Don't go if you feel ill

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(Photo: Polina Tankilevitch/Pexels)
Above (Photo: Polina Tankilevitch/Pexels)

Feeling heavy? sick? Do not try to shake that feeling. Grab a thermometer and check your temperature before going out. Metro Manila theatre staff will be strict when it comes to checking people's temperatures.

In most adults, an oral or axillary temperature above 37.6 Celsius (99.7 Fahrenheit) or a rectal or ear temperature above 38.1 Celcius (100.6 Farenheit) is considered a fever.

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