No popcorn (or eating and drinking in general) inside movie theaters yet despite relaxed rules

A Cinema XXI movie theater. Photo: Cinema XXI
A Cinema XXI movie theater. Photo: Cinema XXI

Keep your masks on at the cinema, because new dining rules in the latest Enforcement of Restrictions on Public Activities (PPKM) update don’t actually allow for eating and drinking inside movie theaters.

In a press conference yesterday, Coordinating Maritime Affairs and Investment Minister Luhut Pandjaitan, who’s overseeing the implementation of PPKM, mentioned that cinema restaurants and concession stands are now allowed to serve customers.

“But the capacity of cinemas is still limited to 50 percent. We’ll see how it goes in the week ahead, if there are improvements we will make more adjustments,” Luhut said.

Some interpreted Luhut’s statement to mean that we can now buy popcorn and eat it inside the movie theater. However, the new Home Affairs Ministry today issued Ministerial Instruction (Inmendagri) No. 47/2021 outlining the updated rules, which makes clear that eating and drinking are only allowed outside the movie theater.

“Restaurants/eateries and cafés located in cinemas are allowed to serve dine-in customers at 50 percent capacity and with a dining time limit of 60 minutes,” the Inmendagri said.

Entry screening using the government’s integrated health and mobility tracking app PeduliLindungi still applies at cinemas, and children under the age of 12 are still prohibited from entry.

The current iteration of PPKM applies until Oct. 18, after which more rules could be relaxed depending on the COVID-19 situation in Indonesia. Another notable update in the latest PPKM is that fitness centers can now open to 25 percent capacity.

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