Cinema halls, theatres and auditoriums have reopened in Maharashtra from Friday with strict compliance to COVID-19 protocols. An order to this effect was issued by the chief minister's office in September.
These establishments were first shut in March 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic struck the country. Later in November, cinema halls and theatres were reopened in the state as the COVID-19 cases plateaued. However, the Maharashtra government had to shut these places again in April this year during the second wave of the pandemic.
To prevent the likelihood of any possible transmission of the COVID-19 infection in cinema halls and theatres, the Maharashtra government has put some conditions.
Wearing a mask and maintaining social distancing cannot be discounted.
Nitin Datar, president, Cinema Owners and Exhibitors Association of India, told Hindustan Times that while several cinema halls are expected to open today, nearly 30 percent of them will wait for the release of Akshay Kumar-starrer Sooryavanshi on November 5. The decision has been taken as these establishments are not in a position to afford any operating loss, he added.
Datar also pointed out that the government's decision to restrict cinema hall owners from allowing people to take food inside the screening auditorium can lead to crowding in the canteen area during the interval.
Meanwhile, Maharashtra recorded 1,573 new COVID cases and 39 related fatalities on Thursday.
First Published: IST