Cinemas, theatres, multiplexes and spas in Delhi will open from Monday, while the Delhi Metro and public buses will be permitted to operate with 100% seating capacity, the Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) said in an order Saturday.
The cap on the number of guests at marriages and funerals has been raised from 50 and 20 respectively to 100. All auditoriums and assembly halls have been permitted to open from Monday at 50% seating capacity.
This leaves schools, colleges, educational and coaching institutes under the category of prohibited activities in Delhi. All social, political, sports, entertainment, cultural, religious and festival-related gatherings also remain banned. However, the DDMA has made an exception for farmers protesting against the three agricultural laws at Jantar Mantar till the end of the Monsoon Session of the Parliament.
The decision to allow Metro services at 100% seating capacity will come as a relief to lakhs of commuters who depend on the transit system for commuting. Due to the cap on seating at 50%, Metro has been regulating the entry of commuters inside stations by keeping only one gate open, leading to long queues and a waiting time of up to 80 minutes in case of stations such as Rajiv Chowk and Huda City Centre.
The DDMA order states that passengers will not be allowed to stand inside the Metro.
Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) sources said that even with the latest relaxation, an eight-coach metro train will be able to carry maximum 400 passengers, as opposed to 2,400 during regular times.
In the case of cinemas, theaters and multiplexes, the management will have to stick to the seating cap of 50%, the order says. Spa owners have been directed to follow a set of conditions including mandatory two doses of Covid vaccines, or fortnightly RT-PCR tests for staffers.
“All visitors /clients shall sign a declaration form to the effect that they have not contracted Covid-19 and if they have, they have tested negative. The establishments are permitted to take written consent from accepting the risks that may be involved for clients/visitors,” it states.
Delhi was under a lockdown between April 19 and May 30. The city started unlocking in phases from May 31 with permission to factories within industrial areas and construction activities to resume. On June 7, markets, malls and the Delhi Metro services were allowed to open at 50% capacity and from June 14, the 50% cap was removed in case of markets and malls.