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The Maharashtra government is set to reopen cinema halls from October 22. However, the state government has issued standard operating procedures (SOPs) for cinema halls, auditoriums and drama theatres as Covid-19 pandemic persists.  The state government has allowed to operate the cinema halls, theatres and auditoriums at 50% capacity.  

Maharashtra: List of SOPs for cinema halls:

  • The occupancy of cinemas, theatres, and multiplexes cannot be more than 50% of the total capacity
  • Covid-19 safety protocols with adequate social distancing must be ensured at the halls. Sanitizers should be available inside the halls, toilets and in other places
  • Showtimes of cinema halls will have to be 'staggered'
  • Sale of only packaged food and beverages will be allowed. But food and beverages can not be taken inside the screening auditorium
  • Cinema halls in containment zones will continue to remain closed
  • Thermal check-up will be mandatory at the entry
  • Air conditioning in cinema halls should be set at temperatures between 24 to 30 degrees Celsius and humidity levels between 40 to 70%
  • Spitting should not be allowed anywhere on the premises
  • Spectators must be vaccinated against Covid-19 or their health status on the Aarogya Setu app must show as safe
  • People going to the cinema halls will be required to wear masks

With a Maharashtra government granting reopening permits to cinemas, several Bollywood filmmakers are fast lining up the releases to make up for the lost time. Apart from Akshay Kumar starrer Sooryavanshi, John Abraham's Satyameva Jayate 2 will be releasing on November 26, Ayushmann Khurrana's Chandigarh Kare Aashiqui will release on December 10. Shahid Kapoor's sports drama Jersey will arrive on December 31. Whereas much-awaited sports drama 83 is slated for Christmas weekend.

Sanjay Leela Bhansali's Gangubai Kathiawadi has been slated for January 6, Amir Khan's Laal Singh Chaddha will arrive in February next year.

Sooryavanshi will fight it out with Marvel’s superheroes Eternal and Rajinikanth’s Annaathe at the box office on Diwali.

Last week, the Maharashtra government reopened religious places in view of Navratri, Durga Puja, and Dussehra festivals. The state has also resumed physical classes this month. Physical classes for standards 8th to 12th have resumed so far.  Maharashtra's Covid-19 cases have been declining for past few days. The state reported 2,069 new coronavirus cases and 43 deaths on Tuesday.  Maharashtra's recovery rate stands at 97.36%, while the fatality rate is 2.12%. The number of coronavirus tests conducted in the state so far rose to 6,04,20,515.

Among eight regions of Maharashtra, the Mumbai region reported the highest 758 new COVID-19 cases, followed by 668 in the Pune region. The Nashik region reported 375 new cases, Kolhapur 145, Latur 73, Aurangabad 38 and Akola and Nagpur regions six new cases each.

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