M'sia to allow cinemas & live shows to resume on Sep. 9, 2021

Only for fully-vaccinated individuals.

Faris Alfiq | September 08, 2021, 01:47 PM

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The wait is over now for Malaysian moviegoers.

Only vaccinated persons allowed entry

The country's Prime Minister Ismail Sabri announced that cinemas and live performances will be allowed to operate at a restricted capacity starting Thursday (Sep. 9), Bernama reported.

However, only fully vaccinated individuals will be allowed entry.

The reopening of cinemas and live performances is only for states under Phase 1 of the National Recovery Plan (NRP).

Ismail Sabri urged "all parties involved in the opening of this sector to always adhere to the prescribed conditions and procedures to avoid any legal, safety and health risks as the country moves into the endemic phase by the end of October".

He added that "the government will always be committed to taking the best approach that can ensure the country's economic recovery for the well-being of the Malaysian Family". 

Strict SOPs

Ismail Sabri's statement also said that all operating cinemas would be implementing strict Standard Operating Procedures (SOP), The Star reported.

Besides admittance to fully vaccinated audiences only with proof of digital certificate of Covid-19 vaccination, the SOPs include the encouragement of contactless purchases for movie tickets, and food and beverages, as well as requiring enhanced personal protective equipment for staff, who are all fully vaccinated. 

In addition, Ismail Sabri said the reopening would benefit more than one million Malaysians, as well as more than 19,000  companies in the creative industry.

He added that the reopening was based on some states in Malaysia achieving a vaccination rate of 80 per cent among their adult population, or attaining herd immunity.

Cinemas have been closed in Malaysia since March 2020.

While they were opened briefly in March this year, operations came to a halt again when a third lockdown was implemented on June 1 after a spike in Covid-19 cases.

The Malaysian Association of Film Exhibitors (MAFE) said the livelihoods of more than 20,000 Malaysians in the film industry have been affected, as exhibitors remain closed with no alternative source of income, or monetary support from the government, The Malaysian Insight reported.

Malaysians already missing out on latest blockbuster hits

The announcement came after Malaysian theatre operator, Golden Screen Cinemas (GSC), posted a tweet urging the government to reopen cinemas for fully-vaccinated moviegoers.

Malaysians had to miss out on a number of new releases such as Black Widow and Free Guy, and they did not want to miss more upcoming releases like Shang-Chi and Spider-Man.

On its Twitter account, GSC is already making plans for the reopening by listing some of the movies that the operator will be screening once it reopens.

Similarly, another movie theatre operator, TGV Cinemas, took to its Twitter account to express its excitement to welcome back moviegoers after months.

For avid moviegoers, who have taken their pleas online for cinemas to reopen, most might have the same reaction as this guy upon reading the news:

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Top image via GSC Cinemas & Mohd Firdaus/NurPhoto/Getty Image