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New Covid guidelines: Cinema halls to operate with over 50% capacity; swimming pools, exhibitions allowed to open

MHA New Covid-19 Guidelines & Rules: On the issue of allowing religious and political gatherings, the Centre has left the decision on states concerned. The new guidelines will be effective from February 1 to February 28.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi |
Updated: January 27, 2021 8:12:57 pm
Reopening of theatres in KerelaAll cinemal halls and theatre were operating at a cap of 50 per cent in the country. (Express photo)

As part of new guidelines for Covid-19 containment, the Union Home Ministry Wednesday allowed cinema halls and theatres to operate with more than 50 per cent of their capacity. A revised SOP will be issued by the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting for the same, the ministry said.

The government also allowed the opening of swimming pools and exhibitions. However, on the issue of religious and political gatherings, the Centre has left the decision on the states concerned. The guidelines will be effective from February 1 to February 28.

Stating that all activities allowed outside of containment zones shall strictly adhere to SOPs issued by the Centre, the guidelines said, “Cinema halls and theatres have already been permitted up to 50% of seating capacity. Now they will be permitted to operate at higher seating capacity. …Swimming pools have already been permitted for use of sportspersons. Now swimming pools will be permitted for use of all. …Business to Business (B2B) exhibition halls have already been permitted. Now all types of exhibition halls will be permitted.”

The ministry also indicated that international air travel may be further liberalised. “For further opening up of international air travel of passengers, Ministry of Civil Aviation (MOCA) may take a decision in consultation with Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) based on the assessment of the situation,” the guidelines said.

The MHA also said that the focus of new guidelines is to consolidate substantial gains achieved against the spread of Covid-19 in the country. “It is, therefore, emphasised that to fully overcome the pandemic, there is need to maintain caution and to strictly follow the prescribed containment strategy focussed on surveillance, containment and strict observance of the guidelines/ SOPs issued by MHA and Ministry of Health & Family Welfare (MOHFW),” it said.

With 12,689 new cases, India’s Covid-19 tally mounted to 1,06,89,527 on Wednesday. While 1,03,59,305 people have recuperated from the infection so far pushing the national recovery rate to 96.91 per cent, the death toll has reached 1,53,724.

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