PETALING JAYA: While some moviegoers are happy with the reopening of cinemas next month, some have reservations about the decision.
Accountant Mohd Razali Ibrahim, 28, is glad to hear that cinemas will resume operations from July 1.
The avid moviegoer said he had to stream his favourite movies during the movement control order (MCO) period.
“It wasn’t the same experience, so now that cinemas will open their doors, I will definitely be the first to buy a ticket and watch whatever that is available, ” he said.
Another movie buff, Astrid Lye, 37, is looking forward to enjoying some cinematic experience with her friends and family again.
“I’m sure the authorities will give proper instructions to cinema operators on how best to practise social distancing in the movie halls as well as other SOP.
“I hope the cinema operators will disinfect the halls properly and assure patrons of what they do, ” said the copywriter.
Although she and her friends or family may have to be seated alternately due to social distancing, Lye said it was fine as they still get to enjoy a movie together.
“I am eager to find out the titles that will be shown because I hope movies originally scheduled to be screened in March will make it to the list again so that those who missed them can catch them again, ” said Lye.
On the other hand, sales executive Paneer Selva, 30, will not be visiting a cinema anytime soon.
“I will not go until there are zero Covid-19 cases in Malaysia.
“I definitely do not want to be part of a new cluster called the ‘cinema cluster’.
“Call me paranoid, but I care about my health more than going to watch a blockbuster, ” Paneer said.
Yesterday, Senior Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob announced that cinemas, theatres and live events could resume on July 1, though the audience size is limited to 250 persons at any one time.
“It also depends on the capacity of the venue.
“Smaller venues will have smaller capacities, ” he said.
“The usual SOP applies, especially on social distancing, which must be observed at all times, ” Ismail Sabri added.
He also announced that public as well as private swimming pools at hotels, gated residences, apartments and condominiums could reopen from July 1 as long as overcrowding could be controlled.
Ismail Sabri added that the number of users at these facilities must be controlled by their respective management, based on capacity and pool size.
“Although there is no restriction on children using these pools, the government does not encourage it, ” he said.
“We leave it to parents and the pool operators to decide if they would want to allow children to use the pools, ” he added.
Ismail Sabri also said that pool operators must register the reopening with the International Trade and Industry Ministry at notification.miti.gov.my to enable the local authorities as well as the Youth and Sports Ministry to monitor whether the SOP was being followed.
In the same vein, water-related activities at lakes, rivers, and the sea are also allowed to resume by July, subject to SOP.
However, water theme parks are still not allowed to operate.