Group Petitions Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture to Reopen Cinemas

The National Film Authority – Action Group (NFA-AG), a Creative Arts industry pressure group ha petitioned the Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture to Reopen Cinemas.

It could be recalled that President Nana Akufo-Addo directed that all Cinemas, drinking spots among others public places to be shutdown due to the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic.

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According to the Group, they have carefully evaluated the potential spread of the virus at our cinemas and the attached risk assessment shows the residual rating is safe for reopening.

The National Film Authority – Action Group (NFA-AG) in their petition argued that Cinemas in the country must be opened after His Excellency, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has lifted restrictions on a number of indoor/enclosed sectors where large groups gather such as Churches, Mosques, Conferences, Award shows and drinking bars.

The group also added that, in addition, passenger buses have been allowed to operate at full capacity while travelling to further destinations.

“We believe the above sectors’ modes of operation are similar, if not same or worse than the
cinemas.

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Below is the Petition from the Group to the Minister of Tourism

Dear Hon. Barbara Oteng Gyesi,

RE – A PETITION TO THE HONOURABLE MINISTER FOR THE REOPENING OF OUR CINEMAS.

The National Film Authority – Action Group (NFA-AG), a Creative Arts industry pressure group largely made up of film industry stakeholder associations and guilds is calling on the Presidency through the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture to immediately take action to lift restrictions on our cinemas in Ghana.

This is to enable the film industry to kickstart it’s process of recovery after the COVID-19 pandemic in line with many other sectors. It will be
recalled that this letter was presented to your ministry on 4th August, 2020, without any response, nor an acknowledgement of receipt from your outfit.

Although we find this inappropriate, we would like to reserve our misgivings with all benefits of the doubt on any deliberate neglect of our petition.
We have carefully evaluated the potential spread of the virus at our cinemas and the attached risk assessment shows the residual rating as safe for reopening. We propose an online booking system which will allow us to track and trace our customers easily. Further
to our own proposal, we have taken notice of the measures outlined by the cinema operators and submitted to the Ghana Tourism Board for consideration – a copy
attached.

Our petition comes at this good time, especially after His Excellency, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has lifted restrictions on a number of indoor/enclosed sectors where large groups gather such as Churches, Mosques, Conferences, Award shows and drinking bars.

In addition, passenger buses have been allowed to operate at full capacity while travelling to further destinations.

We believe the above sectors’ modes of operation are similar, if not same or worse than the
cinemas.

We gathered that, while enclosed space events such as Churches, Conferences, Award shows and their likes can admit a minimum of 500 and a maximum of 2,000 people or more per hall, the cinema hall has maximum capacity of 300 seats. And with the 300-seating
capacity, the cinema operators are willing to do only 50% per show, so as to enforce the social distancing directive.

We are of a strong view that people can wear their nose masks from home, go to watch movies at the cinemas and return home without taking off the nose masks at any point.

Whereas people who patronize drinking bars would have to take off their nose masks before drinking, which we find as a higher risk compared to activities in the cinemas.

It is our request that, if all these sectors are open to the public, cinemas must open too.
We as stakeholders will put in efforts and make it our utmost goal to inform and educate filmmakers and cinemas goers on the risks and how to minimise them at every opportunity.

The NFA-AG hereby, presents this petition to Honourable Barbara Oteng Gyasi, MPs to advise the government on the above subjects for cinemas to be allowed to operate alongside the COVID-19 safety protocols, as stated in the attached Risk Assessment by the
NFA-AG.

God Bless Ghana Film Industry.
God Bless Ghana.

SOURCE: Talkingdrum.com.gh

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