Maharashtra government issues new COVID-19 guidelines for cinema halls
Amid the rising COVID-19 cases in Maharashtra, the state government has issued fresh guidelines for cinema halls, hotels, restaurants, malls, and offices. The new guidelines dictate that places flouting the pandemic rules would be shut down "until the COVID-19 pandemic stays notified as a disaster by the Central government". The new restrictions will remain enforced till March 21, 2021. Here are more details.
All establishments to function at a 50% capacity
As per the fresh guidelines, all the aforementioned establishments, like theaters, will function at a 50% capacity. Health and other essential services were exempted from this rule. On Monday, Chief Secretary Sitaram Kunte issued the guidelines which mandated proper masks for entry. Establishments will have to deploy enough manpower to ensure people are maintaining social distancing, the directive underlined.
Violations will attract penalties under the Disaster Management Act
Any violation will attract penalties under the Disaster Management Act for the people who own the premises, the rules said. Moreover, there is also a restriction on social, cultural, and political gatherings. Any violation will attract a similar penalty. The guidelines also underlined that not more than 50 people can attend a wedding and not more than 20 can attend a funeral.
Recently, a number of Bollywood movies announced theatrical release dates
The guidelines come at a time when Bollywood began looking toward a post-coronavirus revival as a number of movies announced their theatrical release dates. "The release of big movies like Sooryavanshi, Bunty Aur Babli 2, Thalaivi, and Chehre in April and films like Roohi in March will drive Bollywood towards revival," PVR CEO Gautam Dutta told Financial Express. But the worrying situation hints that things might not turn around soon.
Maharashtra's situation is alarming, Centre concerned
The cases in Maharashtra are spiking steadily, with the Central government telling the local administration that the state is on the brink of a second wave. Yesterday, Maharashtra reported over 15,000 fresh COVID-19 cases. "The administrative mechanism should be re-instated to the level witnessed in August-September 2020 to contain/suppress the COVID-19 transmission," the letter written by Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan read.