The Karnataka government has allowed cinema halls and theatres across the state, including Bengaluru, to function from Monday (July 19) while colleges have been permitted to allow students on campuses from July 26. These were among several relaxations announced to the curbs that were in place in the state to mitigate the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic since the second wave began months back.
Will theatres, cinema halls operate in full capacity?
No. Cinema halls, multiplexes, theatres, rangamandiras (where drama and performing art events take place), auditoriums and similar places have been permitted to operate from July 19. However, only 50 per cent of its total seating capacity will be allowed.
As per standard operating procedures (SOPs) issued by the Health Department earlier, alternate seats will be left vacant to ensure physical distancing. Further, compliance to strict Covid-appropriate behaviour (CAB) like ensuring wearing masks, maintaining a social distance with each other, and providing hand sanitiser and handwash facilities will also be enforced.
When will colleges and higher educational institutional reopen in Karnataka?
Colleges and institutions pertaining to the Department of Higher Education will be permitted to reopen from July 26, an order issued by Chief Secretary P Ravikumar on Sunday mentioned.
However, only students and staff who have taken at least one dose of Covid-19 vaccine will be permitted to enter and be inside the premises of the college or institution. “Attendance of students will be optional,” the order clarified. All attendees have been asked to strictly adhere to CAB and other guidelines issued by the concerned department.
Further, all skill-development trainings including long term technical courses are also permitted to begin physical sessions from July 26, complying to the same guidelines.
Will night curfew continue to be in force?
Yes. However, the timings of night curfew have been further relaxed. Beginning July 19, night curfew will be imposed from 10 pm to 5 am across the state, following the existing guidelines. There will be no weekend curfew but night curfew will be enforced across all days of the week, till August 2.
Why were restrictions relaxed?
According to the state government, the decision to announce more relaxations to restrictions was based on suggestions made by health experts. Earlier on Sunday, Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa met senior ministers of his cabinet including Deputy CM C N Ashwathnarayan, Revenue Minister R Ashok, Forest, Kannada and Culture Arvind Limbavali, Chief Secretary P Ravikumar, and other senior officials in Bengaluru.
Karnataka has been reporting less than 2,000 new cases daily since July 10 with the overall average test positivity rate in the state dropping constantly below 2 per cent, as opposed to an average of 6,000 and 5 per cent respectively a month back.
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