Cinema halls, theatres, multiplexes to reopen with 25 percent seating capacity in J&K

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JAMMU: After remaining closed for months together due to the second wave of COVID-19, authorities in Jammu and Kashmir have allowed cinema halls, theatres and multiplexes to reopen with 25 percent seating capacity.

The decision to this effect was taken by the State Executive Committee (SEC), which, however, retained most of the restrictions for Covid containment including night curfew and the closure of schools except for Class 10 and 12.

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In an order issued after a detailed review of the COVID-19 situation in the Union Territory, Chief Secretary A K Mehta, who is also chairperson of the SEC, said the cinema halls, theatres and multiplexes are allowed to function with 25 percent capacity subject to condition that management will ensure strict compliance of Covid appropriate behaviour (CAB).

“All District Magistrates and Superintendents of Police shall ensure compliance,” the order said.

It said the maximum number of people permitted to attend any indoor or outdoor gathering would be strictly restricted to 25.

However, in banquet halls in districts with a positivity rate below 0.2 and weekly caseload below 250, gathering shall be permitted up to 25 percent of the authorised capacity, preferably in open spaces, for vaccinated persons or persons with verifiable RT-PCR or RAT report not older than 72 hours, the order said.

Mehta said there would be no weekend curfew in any district but the night curfew would continue to remain in force in all districts from 8 pm to 7 am, but for those districts with a positivity rate below 0.2 and weekly caseload below 250, it would be from 10 pm to 6 am.

In view of the high incidence of cases in Srinagar district, the order said special campaigns would be organised to substantially increase Covid vaccination.

As regards the education institutions, the order said the Classes for 10th and 12th standards would continue to function as per the already issued directions.

“The schools, except for relaxations as provided for students of 12th and 10th classes, shall continue to remain closed for on/in-person teaching,” it said, adding coaching centres for civil services, engineering and NEET would also continue to function as per the already issued guidelines while the rest of the coaching centre would remain closed for onsite or in person teaching.

The order called for intensification of COVID-19 testing and necessary action against the violators of Covid appropriate behaviour.