Maharashtra: Cinema halls, drama theaters to reopen from October 22
Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Saturday said cinema halls and drama theaters in the state will be permitted to operate from October 22 on the condition that they follow all the protocols required to prevent the spread of coronavirus. The state government will soon issue the standard operating procedure (SOPs) in this regard, he said.
Thackeray was speaking at a COVID-19 task force meeting
Thackeray was speaking at a COVID-19 task force meeting, which was attended by Shiv Sena's Rajya Sabha member Sanjay Raut, state chief secretary Sitaram Kunte, filmmakers Rohit Shetty and Kunal Kapoor, theater personality Makarand Deshpande, Marathi actors Subodh Bhave, Aadesh Bandekar, among others.
Religious places to reopen from October 7 in Maharashtra
In the meeting, it was announced that cinema halls and drama theaters will be allowed to function from October 22, provided they follow all COVID-19- related health protocols. On Friday, the state government had announced the reopening of religious places from October 7 and issued an SOP for devotees and officials managing places of worship to ensure strict implementation of coronavirus-related protocols.
Schools to reopen from October 4 in Maharashtra
Notably, on Friday, the state government had also announced that physical classes in schools would resume across the state from October 4. "Class V to Class XII in all the schools in rural areas and Classes VII to Class XII in urban areas would resume," Varsha Gaikwad, school education minister had said. Notably, a state government-formed committee has set SOPs for school reopening.
Theaters have been operating in Delhi since July
Movie theaters in Delhi have been operating at 50% capacity since July 26, a move that was welcomed by film distributors and cinema hall owners. The complete shutdown of theaters and significantly reduced movie releases over the past year badly hit the business of many entertainment industry sectors. However, Maharashtra saw a further tightening of curbs, delaying the reopening of cinema halls.
Maharashtra reported 3,286 new coronavirus cases on Friday
Meanwhile, Maharashtra on Friday reported 3,286 new coronavirus cases and 51 deaths, which took the state's infection tally to 65,37,843 and the COVID-19 related death toll to 1,38,776, a health department official said. With 3,933 patients discharged from hospitals, the number of recovered cases rose to 63,57,012. Maharashtra now has 39,491 COVID-19 active cases.