Unlock 5: Cinema halls to reopen from Oct 15 with 50 percent seating capacity

Updated: 30 September, 2020 21:21 IST | mid-day online correspondent | Mumbai

On reopening of schools and coaching institutes, the Centre has given the flexibility to state governments to take a decision after October 15

This picture has been used for representational purpose only
This picture has been used for representational purpose only

As COVID-19 cases in India crossed 62 lakh on Wednesday, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) issued a fresh set of guidelines for Unlock 5.0, which will be into effect from October 1 to October 31, 2020.

The Centre has allowed the reopening of cinema halls, multiplexes, and swimming pools, which are used for training of sportspersons/entertainment parks from October 15. MHA said that cinema halls, theatres, and multiplexes will be permitted to open with 50 percent seating capacity. An SOP for the same will be issued by the Information and Broadcasting Ministry.

On reopening of schools and coaching institutions, the Central Government has given the flexibility to state/UT governments to take a decision after October 15. The decision will be taken in consultation with the respective school/institution management, the advisory said.

While the Home Ministry has allowed opening up of more activities in areas outside the containment zones, the lockdown will continue till October 31 in contaminated zones. Social, academic, sports entertainment, cultural, religious, and political functions, and other congregations have been permitted with a ceiling of 100 persons, outside containment zones only.

Salient features of the new guidelines (as per PIB note):

  • Cinemas/ theatres/ multiplexes will be permitted to open from Oct 15 with up to 50 per cent of their seating capacity, for which, SOP will be issued by the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting.
  • Business to Business (B2B) Exhibitions will be permitted from Oct 15 to open, for which, SOP will be issued by the Department of Commerce.
  • Swimming pools being used for training of sportspersons will be permitted (From Oct 15) to open, for which the standard operating procedure (SOP) will be issued by the Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports (MoYA&S).
  • Entertainment parks and similar places will be permitted to open, for which the SOP will be issued by the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare (MoHFW).
  • For re-opening of schools and coaching institutions, State/ UT Governments have been given the flexibility to take a decision after October 15, 2020, in a graded manner.
  • Online/ distance learning shall continue to be the preferred mode of teaching and shall be encouraged.
  • States /UTs will prepare their own SOP regarding health and safety precautions for reopening of schools/ institutions based on the SOP to be issued by the Department of School Education and Literacy (DoSEL), Ministry of Education, Government of India, keeping local requirements in view.
  • Social/ academic/ sports/ entertainment/ cultural/ religious/ political functions and other congregations have already been permitted with a ceiling of 100 persons, outside Containment Zones only.
  • Lockdown shall continue to be implemented strictly in the Containment Zones till October 31, 2020.
  • State/ UT Governments shall not impose any local lockdown (State/ District/ sub-division/City/ village level), outside the containment zones, without prior consultation with the Central Government.
  • There shall be no restriction on inter-State and intra-State movement of persons and goods. No separate permission/ approval/ e-permit will be required for such movements.

Under 'Unlock 4', Metro train services were re-started (in a graded manner) across the country, and social, political, academic, sporting, religious, and other functions were also allowed with an increased limit of 100 attendees.

Metro services in major cities were reopened in stages with mandatory social distancing and use of face masks and sanitizers. Under 'Unlock 4', schools, which had been shut since March, were allowed to partially reopen from September 21.

The Home Ministry guidelines stated that students between Class 9 and 12 could attend school in staggered shifts if the schools were outside containment zones and the parents allowed. Under 'Unlock 3', night curfew was ended, and gyms and yoga institutes were allowed to reopen.

With a spike of 80,472 coronavirus cases and 1,179 deaths in 24 hours, India's tally on Wednesday mounted to the grim 62 lakh-mark with a total of 62,25,763 cases. Out of the total cases, 9,40,441 are currently active, 51,87,825 have been discharged, while 97,497 lost the battle against the viral disease.

While the recovery rate stands at a whopping high of 83.33 percent, the fatality rate has come down to 1.57 percent, the data from the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said.

Maharashtra continues to be the worst-hit with a total of 13,66,129 cases, including 36,181 deaths; followed by Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, and Karnataka.

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First Published: 30 September, 2020 20:20 IST

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