Movie theaters are open in most parts of the country, but is it safe to see a movie indoors with strangers, and are there steps to take to reduce your risk of a COVID-19 infection?
Health experts tell CNN your infection risk drops drastically when you are fully vaccinated, but because there are likely to be unvaccinated people at the theater, all COVID safety precautions need to be taken at the movie theater.
"Before entering any type of theater, it's important to also consider what the background rates of disease are within the community, and also the contribution of variants that might be circulating," Yale epidemiology professor Krystal Pollitt notes.
Some ways to make a trip to a movie theater safer according to health experts:
- Check what safety protocols the theater is taking and whether masks will be required and if groups are distanced while seated
- Opt for larger theaters with higher ceilings
- Avoid crowded screenings and try to sit as far away from others
- Eating popcorn and drinking a soda is not ideal as you will have to remove your mask and emergency physician Dr. Leana Wen tells CNN, "I would feel better in a theater that does not allow food or drink because then people will have a better chance of keeping their mask on the whole time."
Instead of going to a movie theater, The Doctors suggest going to a drive-in movie theater as more of them have opened during the pandemic or consider having an outdoor backyard movie screening.