Cinemas and theaters adapt during pandemic

By Alicia García de Francisco

Madrid, Jul 24 (efe-epa).- Theaters and cinemas have adapted their safety protocols to protect customers during the Covid-19 outbreak.

Borja de Benito, spokesperson for Fece, the Federation of Entities of Cinema Entrepreneurs in Spain, told Efe that strict protocols have been implemented which makes them no riskier than a supermarket or eating in a restaurant.

“The risk in closed public spaces always depends on the ventilation conditions, the number of people and the exposure time,” Maria Cruz Minguillón, of the Environmental Geochemistry and Atmospheric Research at the Spanish Research Council, said.

“The advantage of a cinema or a supermarket is that people can leave the mask on and this significantly reduces the chances of contagion.”

Although masks offer an element of protection, ventilation is essential and the best situation is for air to be renewed as often as possible in conditioning systems, Minguillón added.

She said the fact that people do not speak during screenings or performances also reduces the infection risk at these venues.

The researcher said many outbreaks and multiple cases of contagion have taken place “in private settings, where people relax”.

In Spain’s capital Madrid the newly opened Cines Embajadores has seen good attendance rates and respect for safety measures.

“We have disinfecting shoe mats at the door, a cleaning area and a drying area, hydro-alcoholic gel dispensers everywhere, we enforce the use of a mask throughout the venue and we even recommend that people who eat during the film should remove only the essentials, we clean after each session and fumigate each room and once a week we totally mist the facilities,” Fernando Lobo, a spokesman for the venue, said.

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