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Cinema Halls Reopen

While totally prohibiting Zero Night and New Years’ celebrations across the state in wake of the new strain of the Corona Virus, Odisha Government Wednesday allowed re-opening of cinema halls, theatres and other entertainment facilities from 1 January.

Odisha Government in an order for January under Unlock-8, said: “Usually people in large number congregate in hotel, restaurants, clubs, parks and other public places on 31December and 1 January for  Zero Night celebration/ welcome to New year/ similar function on the eve of new year”.

Such congregations have large potential for spread of COVID-19 infection, the order said, adding that the State Government has directed in public interest to prohibit such activities on December 31 and January 1, 2021.

Any person found violating the order shall be punished under the provisions of the Disaster Management Act, 2005 and other relevant laws, Chief Secretary Asit K Tripathy said.

However, the order said that cinema hall, theatres have been allowed to reopen with up to 50% of capacity and operate as per the SOP. Open air theatres, jatra, entertainment parks will also be permitted by the local authorities to open subject to compliance of safety protocols such as mandatory mask wearing and physical distancing.

Social, religious, sports and cultural functions and gatherings will be allowed with a ceiling of 200 persons.

Marriage related gatherings shall be allowed with a ceiling of 200 persons and funeral/last rites related gatherings with a ceiling of 100 persons, it said.

Business to business (B2B) and business to consumers (B2C) exhibitions will be allowed in exhibition halls with participants and visitors up to 50% of the hall capacity subject to a maximum ceiling of 200 persons and compliance of Covid19 safety protocols, the guidelines stated.

International air travel of passengers, except as permitted by MHA will continue to remain closed till January 31, 2021.

While the order clearly mentioned that all Anganwadi Centres shall remain closed till 31st January 2021, the order authorized the school and mass education department and higher education department to take decision on reopening of schools and colleges after holding discussion with stakeholders and keeping an eye on the pandemic situation. It allowed conduct of examinations and activities other h=than holding regular classes.   

The order said that local authority i.e., District Magistrate/ Municipal Commissioner may permit public worship in religious places/ places of worship with appropriate restrictions, based on local assessment of the situation with regard to spread of COVID-19 and in due consultation with relevant stakeholders, with observance of COVID-19 safety protocol.

Lockdown shall remain enforced within the containment zones while wearing of face cover/ mask properly is compulsory in public places like in workplaces and in public transport. Individuals must maintain a minimum distance of 6 feet in public places.