With the curb in the number of COVID-19 cases in Maharashtra, the government has now eased the restrictions in 25 districts in the state. This easing includes cinema theatres as well as shopping malls opening up. There has also been an extension to the restaurants and the shops to remain open along with dining on weekends being allowed.
However, the restrictions will continue to be imposed on Sundays. The districts where the relaxations will be imposed include Thane, Nashik, Mumbai and Nagpur. The decision was taken after a meeting with the COVID-19 task force that was chaired by Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray.
A news report in Times of India quoted Health Minister Rajesh Tope saying, "It has also been agreed to allow malls, theatres to open at 50% capacity. The state will also be insisting that shop owners ensure their staffers are fully vaccinated. The government will also discourage the use of AC (air-conditioning) where large groups of people have been allowed like wedding halls. It is better for establishments to open their windows and allow for better circulation.
It was earlier reported that PVR Cinemas in a statement said that its cinemas will resume operations from July 30 in states and union territories that have allowed theatres to reopen. States like Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Punjab, Haryana, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana have permitted the resumption of operations in cinema halls with the curb in the number of COVID-19 cases. PVR also introduced a 'JAB Offer' for the customers. As part of the scheme, one vaccinated customer can get another ticket free on selected content as well as one F&B Combo free with the purchase of another in the first week of reopening. The multiplex chain stated that it will continue to follow the standard operating procedures (SOPs) mandated by the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting, as part of normal safety and hygiene standards.
Talking about the meeting, the news report stated that the Chief Minister has asked the authorities to make sure that the relaxations are done with all the COVID-19 guideline measures in place so that there is no increase in the COVID-19 cases. The government will also focus on speeding up the vaccination process as a precaution for the third wave. This news may come as a positive sign for the films that are scheduled to hit the theatres in the latter half of the year.