The Centre has permitted the reopening of movie theaters with a 50% capacity, as part of its 'Unlock 5.0' guidelines. The Ministry of Home Affairs has issued these guidelines to take effect from October 15. The Centre has also permitted swimming pools, business exhibitions and entertainment parks to reopen. In these guidelines, the Centre has given the states more flexibility in regulation large gatherings and the reopening of schools.
These guidelines come right before the Indian festive season. Bihar will also see the first phase of voting in its state assembly elections on October 28.
Here's what the guidelines state:
What's now to be allowed:
- Cinema halls, theaters and multiplexes will be allowed with a 50% seating capacity. The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting will issue guidelines on the same
- Entertainment parks and similar places
- Business to business exhibitions
- Swimming pools for the training of sportspersons
In its guidelines released today, Maharashtra has decided to keep theaters shut.
School and colleges
The Centre has given more leeway to states to decide on the reopening of schools.They may make calls on its reopening in a graded manner from October 15, but within the following regulatory sandbox:
- Online learning is to be encouraged. If students wish to attend online classes over being present in school physically, they should be allowed to do so
- Attendance to be with parental consent. Attendance cannot be enforced, and must be based on written consent.
- States are to formulate their own operating procedures for the reopening of schools.
The Department of Higher Education is to take a call on the opening of institutions of higher education. Again, online education will be encouraged. However, PhD and post-graduate students of science and technology who need to fulfill experimental or lab requirements may be allowed to return for these purposes from October 15.
In closed settings, state government now may approve 50% capacity of the hall to be occupied, subject to a ceiling of 200 persons. This is an increase over the current limit of 100 persons. In an open setting, this would be subject to the size of the venue. In both cases, safety venues would have to be observed.
The MHA guidelines can be read here.