The government's decision not to open multiplexes in Unlock 3.0 will impact millions of livelihoods dependent on the sector, industry body MAI said on Thursday.
The Multiplex Association Of India (MAI) said the industry was thoroughly prepared with stringent standard operating procedures (SOPs) and guidelines to offer a safe movie watching experience.
"We are extremely disappointed with the Unlock 3.0 announcement to keep cinemas under continued lockdown," MAI Member Alok Tandon said.
The government on Wednesday issued the Unlock 3.0 guidelines amid efforts to restore normalcy in economic activities hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Cinema halls and multiplexes have been kept under the prohibited category, along with metro rail services, entertainment parks, theatres, bars, auditoriums, assembly halls and similar places.
"The government's decision is against our expectations and will impact millions of livelihoods dependent on the industry. We have been urging the government all along and continuing to engage with the relevant authorities with our plea to allow the cinemas to operate," the body said.
MAI said stringent SOPs were developed, and a representation was submitted to the information and broadcasting, health and home ministries.
"These measures were prepared keeping in mind all the possible customer touchpoints and accordingly prepared in line with globally accepted standards and protocols, which have been implemented in countries where cinemas have opened up, and are witnessing a good customer response," it added.
Meanwhile, the Shopping Centre Association of India (SCAI) has welcomed the move to allow shopping centres to operate from August 5 under Unlock 3.0.
"SCAI has developed and rolled out stringent SOPs in over 500 shopping malls across the country that opened up and have successfully been able to implement social distancing guidelines along with other necessary measures in the best possible manner," it said.