The Multiplex Association of India (MAI) has lamented the exclusion of multiplexes by the government in Unlock 2.0. It has said that while markets, high streets, shopping malls, domestic travel and offices have been allowed to reopen, multiplexes and cinemas continue to be in the prohibited list.
The MAI has said that multiplexes can set examples of social distancing and hygiene measures adopted for the safety of clients but the central government has excluded them from the Unlock 2.0 guidelines. It has argued that multiplexes offer direct employment to over 2 lakh people and account for 60% of the film industry’s revenues. Multiplexes also claim to provide livelihood to more than a million people. The MAI has stated that while governments in many other countries like France, Italy, Spain, Netherlands, Austria, Hong Kong, UAE, USA, etc. and more recently Belgium and Malaysia have opened cinemas to the public with implementation of the highest degree of safety protocols and have seen a warm response by audiences, the government of India has kept cinemas out. In effect, more than 20 major cinema markets around the world have started operating. MAI is of the firm belief that there must be a start, and the unlocking of cinemas in non-containment zones across India should be done post-haste.