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Saturday, September 18, 2021

Theatres, parks reopen in Tamil Nadu

Since early morning, people began to flock to Marina beach. Police personnel have been deployed alongside the shoreline and are spreading Covid-19 awareness through the public announcement system.

Written by Janardhan Koushik | Chennai |
Updated: August 23, 2021 12:43:20 pm
Marina beach, Marina beach reopned to public, Marina beach visiting hours, Chennai Covid news, chennai covid latest updates, chennai news, indian expressSome early visitors at Chennai's Marina beach. (Express photo: Janardhan Koushik)

Nearly four months after they were closed due to the Covid second wave, parks, beaches and theatres reopened Monday in line with the fresh relaxations in pandemic restrictions in Tamil Nadu.

Since early morning, people began to flock to Marina beach. Previously, only walkers and joggers were allowed alongside the service lane stretch from 5 am till 9 am. Fitness enthusiasts and others welcomed the move and urged the public to make use of the relaxations by following the safety guidelines. Police personnel have been deployed alongside the shoreline and are spreading Covid-19 awareness through the public announcement system.

Zoological and botanical parks and boathouses have been permitted to reopen for the public from today. The Nilgiris Department officials said popular tourist spots including Ooty Boat House, Sims Park in Coonoor and museums have been reopened for the public.

In Chennai, the Arignar Anna Zoological Park, which hit the headlines recently after lions tested positive and a couple of them succumbed to Covid-19, has not reopened today for the public. The park’s Deputy Director, Naga Sathish, said they haven’t received the official order from the government and they will, probably, open on Wednesday.

As far as theatres are concerned, only a few of them have reopened. For the past two days, theatre owners were busy ensuring that all guidelines issued by the government were being followed including disinfecting seats and ensuring 100 per cent vaccination of staff.

Theatres were shut down in March 2020 following the outbreak of the pandemic and were later reopened after seven months in November with a 50 per cent cap on seating. Due to the second wave of the pandemic, they were again closed in April 2021.

Speaking to Indianexpress.com, actor and producer Chitra Lakshmanan said around 400 stand-alone theatres have been reopened today and all other multiplexes will be open for the public by Thursday or Friday as they are yet to finalise the movie scheduling. He further added that all the theatre owners have given an undertaking to the government that all theatres would be computerized within December 2021 in a bid to be more transparent about ticketing costs. A dedicated server is likely to be set up in regards to this.

Veteran distributor and Tamil Nadu Theatres owners association leader Tiruppur Subramaniam had said that the ticket prices won’t be increased in theatres owing to the pandemic.

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