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Cinemas reopen in Batam amid COVID-19 outbreak


The Jakarta Post

Batam, Riau Islands  /  Sat, October 17, 2020  /  04:13 pm
Cinemas reopen in Batam amid COVID-19 outbreak

Cinemagoers watch a movie in a cinema in Batam, Riau Islands, on Oct. 16. The Batam administration has allowed cinemas to reopen after suspending operations for seven months due to the COVID-19 outbreak. (Antara/Teguh Prihatna)

The Batam administration in Riau Islands has officially allowed cinemas to reopen after suspending operations for seven months due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Batam acting mayor Syamsul Bahrum said several cinemas in the city, including the one operated by CGV Cinemas in Grand Mall Batam, would be allowed to operate again under strict health protocols.

“My duties are to reduce the number of COVID-19 cases as well as to make sure the economy recovers. We will allow cinemas to reopen as long as they implement strict health protocols,” said Syamsul.

He added that officials with the city’s COVID-19 task force would supervise the implementation of health protocols. They will also ensure the cinemas show public service announcements before each screening.

Read also: Jakarta postpones reopening of movie theaters indefinitely

CGV Cinemas manager in Batam, Bori Martha, said the company would open five theaters at the Grand Mall Batam with a reduced capacity of 50 percent.

“The audience is also required to give their personal information [for tracing purposes] and wear face masks during the screening,” Bori said.

He added that operational hours would be reduced, with the first screening to start at 1 p.m. local time with screenings ending at 9 p.m.

“We will continuously evaluate the operations. If everything goes well, we will resume operations until we gradually move back to normal,” Bori went on to say.

Apart from Batam, CGV Cinemas has also reopened its cinemas in Bandung, West Java.

Meanwhile, Cinema XXI has reopened its cinemas in Bandung; Ternate, North Maluku; Jayapura, Papua; Pontianak, West Kalimantan; Banjarmasin, South Kalimantan and Samarinda, East Kalimantan starting Saturday.

The central government and several regional administrations, including Jakarta, previously planned to reopen cinemas in July. However, the rising number of confirmed COVID-19 cases throughout the country forced them to postpone the plan. (dpk)