Cinemas to Reopen, But No Popcorn Allowed

A worker disinfects cinema seats in Bangkok.
A worker disinfects cinema seats in Bangkok.

BANGKOK — Cinemas across the country will be allowed to reopen next week, though moviegoers will not be able to munch on popcorn or sit in groups, health officials said Friday.

Panpimon Wipulakorn, director general of the Department of Health, said eating or drinking will not be permitted during the shows due to the risk of coronavirus infection. The new regulations will also require cinemas to leave three empty seats apart from each party in order to comply with social distancing measures, she said.

“Customers must refrain from eating or drinking because saliva droplets can spread,” Panpimon said.

According to the measure, couples may sit together and face masks must be worn at all times. Seats and ventilation systems must also be thoroughly cleaned after each screening.

Cinemas closed down nationwide March 18 due to the coronavirus outbreak.