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Taiwan's movie theaters to reopen on July 13

No food or drink will be allowed when cinemas reopen in Taiwan on July 13

(ViewShow Cinemas photo)

(ViewShow Cinemas photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan's Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) on Thursday (July 8) announced that the Level 3 alert will be extended to July 26, but restrictions in many sectors will be relaxed, including movie theaters.

At a press briefing on Thursday, Health Minister and CECC head Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) announced that although case numbers have steadily dropped, there is still the possibility of local infections, and for that reason, the country's Level 3 alert will continue to July 26. However, the center has decided to relax restrictions in some sectors, such as national parks, museums, sports centers, restaurants, and movie theaters, starting on July 13.

Chen stressed that the primary restrictions will remain in place, including the wearing of masks at all times when leaving one's home and the limit on indoor gatherings at five people and outdoor gatherings at 10. Venue operators must ensure real-name registration and access as well as crowd control, while customers must maintain proper social distancing.

Among the types of businesses that will open on July 13 are indoor venues, including art galleries, museums, performance venues (without audience), social and educational institutions, cultural centers, and movie theaters. In the case of movie theaters, cinema operators must use a real-name registration system, measure customers' body temperature, ensure they wear masks, and clean and disinfect after each show.

Staff carrying out this cleaning and disinfection must wear proper personal protective equipment (PPE). No eating or drinking will be allowed in the lobby or inside the viewing area.

The CECC recommends theaters prioritize the advanced purchase of tickets to prevent large numbers of people queuing up at cinemas. The seating in the theaters must follow a checkerboard pattern or other arrangement to ensure proper social distancing between viewers.