Singapore – Shaw Theatres has posted on its Facebook account that it is including social distancing in its seating arrangements for its patrons to prevent the spread of Covid-19.
Its statement said: “Dear Patrons, as we continue to stay updated on the developments of the coronavirus (Covid-19) situation in Singapore, we have taken the step to implement social distancing measures at our cinemas.
“In line with MOH’s guidelines, we have incorporated social distancing features in our seating plans as a precautionary measure for our patrons as of Monday, 16th March 2020 until further notice. Patrons are strongly advised to remain in your assigned seat(s).”
It has also put other precautionary measures in place for its movie-goers, including temperature checks, having hand sanitisers available for all patrons at hall entry points and increasing the time between each screening to ensure elaborate and thorough cleaning.
At least one netizen expressed concern about the measures.
Screenshot from Facebook / Shaw TheatreThis concern was met with a quick retort.
Source: Screenshot from Facebook / Shaw TheatresIn Malaysia, at least one company has adopted social distancing in its cinemas. The MBO cinemas began doing so in cinemas last Saturday (March 14). It explained: “What this means is every alternate row in front of you will be empty and one seat each on the left and right of the customer will be empty at all times.” It added: “This is to keep everyone at a safer distance as Covid1-19 continues to wreak havoc on the movie industry.”
Although Eaglewings Cinematics and Golden Village Cinemas in Singapore have yet to follow suit, Cathay Cineplexes posted about the delay in the release of A Quiet Place Part II due to the growing concerns over Covid-19. The cinema was scheduled to have a double bill screening on Tuesday (March 17) at 6.45 pm but considered the “health and safety concerns” of the public more important.
Whether people are for or against social distancing, the cinemas are playing their part by implementing the recently recommended measure. In reality, the other option would be to close the cinemas completely, which could actually be the case should the pandemic worsen over the next few days or weeks.
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