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Cinemas Adapting to New Normal

PHNOM PENH: As Cambodia now fully reopened with business resuming, the cinemas in the kingdom are also adjusting to adapt to the new normal due to Covid-19. Cinemas across the country have reopened on Monday following Prime Minister Hun Sen’s announcement of the country’s reopening.

Finally, after eight long months of closure, movie goers are now back. Enjoying time with their friends. Thanks to Prime Minister Hun Sen for declaring the country is now fully reopened, after more than a year of closure due to Covid-19. High-risk businesses closed to prevent the spread of the virus. But just this Monday, cinemas are reopened. However, they have to strictly follow the safety protocols set by the Royal Government and the Ministry of Health to prevent the further spread of the novel coronavirus.

EAC News has spoken to the general manager of Prime Cineplex in Phnom Penh, Linhof Yim. He says, the past eight months have been very hard for them. Although they were closed, they have to maintain the cinema’s equipment and the whole building. Some workers still have to be paid even without income generated.

He says, “We need to spend a lot of money to support our staff during the closure and we need to pay for utility and other many items for our products. Many of our products expired and we need to just throw away. So, a lot of money.”

During those months of inactivity, they had a lot of worries, not only personally but also for the business on how it would survive. But just on Monday, after Prime Minister Hun Sen announced the reopening of the country, it was both a huge relief and excitement for them – to be able to go back to work and to the business. Yim says they have been waiting for it. They have been preparing for the reopening. And all their staff are vaccinated against Covid-19. Not only two doses but with booster shots as well.

He has added, “Our staff need to complete the third dose of vaccine. Wear mask in the cinema all the time. Keep cleaning their hands. For operations staff, they need to put a plastic barrier to protect both our staff and the customers. And for the customers, age over six years old, if they do not have vaccinated card or letter that proves health condition for the reason of being unvaccinated, they are not allowed to be in the cinema.”

Only children under six years old are permitted to go inside the cinema without the vaccination card, while the number of movie goers are reduced to only 50% of its maximum capacity.


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