Delhi government likely to issue order for reopening of cinema halls, swimming pools today
The guidelines would apply in Delhi after they are notified through a separate order by the Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA)
After being shut for more than six months because of the Covid-19 pandemic, cinema halls and swimming pools may be opened in Delhi in a restricted manner while social functions like marriages are likely to be allowed with over 100 guests.
The Delhi government is likely to issue orders regarding these decisions on Thursday a day after the central government issued guidelines for further relaxation of Covid-19 restrictions. Cinema halls and swimming pools are likely to be allowed to reopen only from October 15.
The guidelines would apply in Delhi after they are notified through a separate order by the Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA). The DDMA is chaired by lieutenant governor Anil Baijal and its vice-chairperson is chief minister Arvind Kejriwal.
Also Read: Covid-19: What you need to know today
The Centre’s guidelines also said that decisions for opening schools and coaching institutions in a graded manner can be taken by the states and Union Territories after October 15 “in consultation with the respective school/institution management, based on their assessment of the situation”. However, if students preferred to attend online classes, they would be permitted to do so. The guidelines said attendance must not be enforced and must depend entirely on parental consent.
Officials of the Delhi government’s education department will hold a meeting on Thursday to discuss the rules issued by the Centre. “(We will) go through the guidelines, consult stakeholders, and take the decision on the reopening of schools in the national capital. We will hold a meeting on Thursday,” a senior official from Delhi deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia’s office said on condition of anonymity.
The Union home ministry on Wednesday said cinema halls, multiplexes and theatres will be allowed to open from October 15 in areas outside containment zones. But they shall have to operate at 50% seating capacity, it said, adding that detailed standard operating procedures will be issued soon by the Union information and broadcasting ministry.
In Delhi, cinema halls, multiplexes and theatres have been closed since March 12. They were shut days before the nationwide lockdown came into effect on March 25 to slow the spread of the pandemic.
The Multiplex Association of India said in a statement: “We are committed to ensuring a safe, secure and hygienic cinema-going experience for the movie lovers… Urgent permission from the state governments to reopen cinemas in their states would go a substantial distance in ensuring that the cinema exhibition sector is able to quickly recover from the dire economic and financial impact of the epidemic. We look forward to welcoming back moviegoers to a safe and amazing brand-new experience at our cinemas.”