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Cinema halls, theatres, auditoriums reopen in Maharashtra today; check guidelines

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The cinema halls, auditoriums and theatres will not be allowed to operate at more than 50 percent of their capacity. Show timings of cinema halls will have to be "staggered", the Maharashtra government order stated.

Cinema halls, theatres, auditoriums reopen in Maharashtra today; check guidelines
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.
  • The cinema halls, auditoriums and theatres will not be allowed to operate at more than 50 percent of their capacity.
  • Show timings of cinema halls will have to be "staggered".
  • The sale of non-packaged food and beverages is not allowed. Also, food and beverages cannot be taken inside the screening auditorium.
  • Thermal inspection is mandatory at entry gates. "Spectators must have been vaccinated against COVID-19 or their health status on the Aarogya Setu app must show as safe," reads the order.
  • Sanitiser bottles should be installed inside halls, toilets, and other places.
  • Wearing a mask and maintaining social distancing cannot be discounted.
  • The air conditioning temperature should be set between 24 and 30 degrees Celsius and the humidity level between 40 and 70 percent.
  • 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.
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