Wednesday, July 8

SOP tempers excitement at cinema reopening

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Jayden Sim

KUCHING: Members of the public are excited over the anticipated reopening of cinemas, but will only consider going if they are convinced that standard operating procedures (SOPs) are fully adhered to by operators.

Jayden Sim, 24, said while he was concerned of other movie-goers disregarding or failing to observe the SOPs, he was looking forward to being able to go to the cinema again especially with a host of interesting movies set to be released over the next few months.

“Of course I am excited with the announcement that cinemas can start receiving patrons again after more than three months of closure due to the Movement Control Order.

“At the same time however, I have my doubts on whether other movie-goers can comply with the SOPs particularly in regards to hygiene practices. I also hope cinema staff will ensure all movie halls are properly disinfected and cleaned thoroughly after each screening,” he said when contacted yesterday.

The federal government on June 22 gave its approval for cinemas, theatres and live event operators to begin operating from July 1.

The Sarawak Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) however has yet to announce whether it will follow the federal government’s decision, or come up with its own decision.

Kelly Kho

For Kelly Kho, 25, she said while she was excited to hear the news that cinemas would soon be reopening, she remained reserved about heading to one during this Covid-19 pandemic.

“Like most people, I can’t wait to go to the cinemas again but it has to wait. I believe it is best to stay clear of such places until Covid-19 is fully brought under control or a vaccine is found,” she said.

Local author Malcolm Mejin, 34, said he would not mind catching a movie at a cinema so long as strict SOPs are practised.

He said this included mandatory wearing of face mask, taking of body temperature, and limiting the number of patrons allowed during each movie screening to ensure social distancing.

Malcolm Mejin

“I don’t see why we shouldn’t visit cinemas especially when the number of Covid-19 cases in the country has drastically reduced.

“For me, I think it is okay to go and watch movies,” said Malcolm, adding he is looking forward to catching the live adaptation of Disney’s animated film, Mulan.

Meanwhile, a management staff of a mall here which houses a major cinema chain said they were still waiting for clearance from SDMC to reopen movie halls to the public.

“I was informed the cinema staff are still in the midst of setting up the proper standard operating procedures at their halls, such as ensuring adequate social distancing between movie-goers when watching movies,” he said, adding an announcement will be made once they receive the green light from SDMC to reopen,