A day after the Maharashtra government announced reopening of schools and places of worship across the state, chief minister Uddhav Thackeray on Saturday allowed cinema halls and auditoriums to open their doors to patrons from October 22. The state government will issue a standard operating procedure (SOP) early next week for the management of cinema halls and auditoriums, senior officials said.
CM Uddhav Thackeray held a meeting with a delegation of cinema and theatre owners on Saturday, following which, the decision on reopening was taken. The state has been relaxing restrictions imposed to prevent the spread of Covid-19 in a graded manner since August.
Theatres and auditoriums are expected to operate at 50% of the seating capacity post the reopening and may only allow fully-vaccinated people’s entry, but a final call is yet to be taken on the same, officials said. A senior bureaucrat said that the SOP will be finalised on Monday in a meeting held by chief secretary Sitaram Kunte, additional chief secretary (health) Pradeep Vyas and other senior officials.
“Like last time, the cinema halls and auditoriums will open with 50% seating capacity. The meeting also discussed if only fully vaccinated people should be allowed with a view to lower the risk and also encourage vaccination. However, the final call will be made next week,” the official said, requesting anonymity.
Maharashtra, meanwhile, continued to report new infections around the 3,500-mark. On Saturday, it logged 3,276 fresh Covid-19 cases. It also added 58 deaths, taking the death toll to 138,834. The state’s active case count has reduced to 37,984. Mumbai logged 455 fresh cases on Saturday, taking its tally to 740,760. It reported five fatalities, pushing the death toll to 16,079. Mumbai’s active caseload was 5,276.