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Cinema halls, auditoriums in Maharashtra to reopen from October 22

Cinema theatres and auditoriums in Maharashtra will reopen from October 22, chief minister Uddhav Thackeray announced on Saturday amid a slight decline in daily new coronavirus disease (Covid-19) cases over the past week. The owners and management have to ensure that proper Covid norms are followed.

According to the chief minister’s office, authorities are chalking out a detailed standard operating procedure (SOP) regarding the operation of theatres and auditoriums, which will be announced soon.

“Chief Minister Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray has announced that cinemas and theatres in the state will be allowed to open after October 22 in compliance with health norms. Work is underway to prepare a detailed SOP in this regard and it will be announced soon,” the Maharashtra CM office said.

The decision comes a day after the state government announced the reopening of religious places of all faiths from October 7. All temples in Maharashtra will reopen from the first day of Navratri, a Hindu festival that spans nine nights. The Maharashtra government had imposed several restrictions on the Ganesh Chaturthi festival fearing another Covid wave.

On Friday, Thackeray also announced the reopening of schools for classes 5 to 12 in rural areas and 8 to 12 in urban areas starting October 4. Announcing the decision, the chief minister said that the government has prepared itself for another wave of Covid-19 but allowing relaxations in various activities with all precautions.

“Although daily Covid-19 cases are showing a declining trend, everybody should take care and follow Covid-19 protocols. While religious places are going to be opened, people still need to wear face masks and use hand sanitisers. The management of religious places will be responsible for the implementation of such measures,” he said. Hindustan Times

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