Mike Coppola, Getty Images
Mike Coppola, Getty Images

One of the pre-COVID-19 activities I miss most is going to the movie theater.  The dark, the great surround sound, the smell of popcorn, it's a therapeutic combination for me and I'm looking forward to going back.   So are hundred of theater owners.

In a news release the new safety protocols being adopted by 30,000 theaters and movie chains nationwide from  NATO (National Association of Theatre Owners) are laid out

NATO head John Fithian says, ""Distributors should stick with their dates and release their movies because there's no guarantee that more markets will be open later this year. Until there's a vaccine that's widely available, there will not be 100% of the markets open," he said. "Because of that, films should be released in markets where it is safe and legal to release them and that's about 85% of markets in the U.S. and even more globally. They should release their movies and deal with this new normal."

To open safely, theater owners have agreed to a list of safety protocols developed in consultation with medical and industry experts.

1. All employees will be trained on the proper way to wear face coverings and required to wear a face covering or mask.
2.. Gloves should be provided and available to employees.
3.  Hand hygiene should be performed after removing (doffing) gloves.
4. PPE should never be shared between employees.
5. Hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol (EPA approved ethanol or isopropyl) should      be strategically placed around work areas and easily accessible, especially in ticket        booths or other enclosed spaces.
6. Supplies of soap, paper towels, and hand sanitizer should be stocked and

    maintained  to ensure they do not run out.
7. Signage should be posted prominently with instructions on how to stop the spread of      COVID-19, including hand hygiene and PPE instructions.
8. All employees should be trained on the signs and symptoms of COVID-19 as well as      local theatre policies and procedures.
9. The workplace should have a plan in place for what to do in case of an employee            who develops symptoms while working as well as an employee who tests positive for       COVID- 19.
10.Symptom checks should be performed prior to employees entering the workplace. This should, at a minimum, include questions about cough, shortness of breath, diarrhea, loss of smell, loss of taste, and fever. This check can be done in person or remotely (such as electronic survey). If feasible, temperature checks should also be done upon arrival to work.
To name a few!  Other guidelines target patron and owner behaviors

Visit CinemaSafe.org for the latest protocol updates and news.

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