With each passing month, efforts to control the coronavirus pandemic successfully control outbreaks in certain areas. However, given the rise of multiple other problems after the reopening of all businesses, new coronavirus hotspots have emerged in various states in the US and more people are contracting the virus day by day. One of such hotspots may be cinemas and movie theatres.
With the reopening of all businesses, the U.S. Centre for Disease Control and Prevention issued specific guidelines in order to cut down the risk of transmission. By following all safety protocols, the risk can be lowered to a big extent but at the same time, the health agency warns that there is no way to ensure it is completely eradicated.
Theatres and cinemas are usually indoor public spaces, which means that there are multiple ways the novel coronavirus can spread. In comparison with outdoor spaces, the risk of airborne transmission in higher indoors as well.
Since the reopening of businesses across different states, the National Association of Theatre Owners reported that over three hundred companies which own over thirty thousand cinemas in the country have all joined the ‘Cinema Safe program‘ to ensure all cinemas and theatres follow restrictions for coronavirus in order to make them as safe as possible.
The president and CEO of NATO, John Fithian, stated that “In this new pandemic world, moviegoers need to know that there is a consistent, science and experience-based set of health and safety protocols in place no matter what theater they visit,”
Consequently, many people are also heading to the movies after staying at home for a long period of time. However, even though cinema owners are collaborating and imposing restrictions for reducing the risk of coronavirus transmission, experts state that going to the cinema may not be a very safe idea.
In states where the coronavirus cases remain very high along with thousands of new infections diagnosed on a daily basis, it is not very smart to go to the cinema or even reopen them at this point in time. This includes states such as New York, California, North Carolina, New Mexico, North Carolina, New Jersey, and Maryland.
Many of the cinemas require people to follow basic preventive measures for coronavirus such as wearing masks. However, such rules cannot be followed all the time. People are likely to remove their masks when eating or drinking while watching the movie, which can easily aid virus transmission through droplets released into the air.
Instead of going out for watching a movie, choosing to stay home and seeing it on a small-screen or television is perhaps the best alternative at the moment which is also comparatively much safer, according to experts.
Another option is going to the new makeshift theaters that mimic the drive-in cinemas from the 60s and 70s where people can watch a movie with a loved one just from their car and enjoy it safely but if many people continue to go to cinemas and theatres, there is a very high chance that they may soon become new coronavirus hotspots.