Current AffairsIndia

States may increase seating capacity of Cinema halls, theaters, social gatherings & swimming pools: MHA

New Delhi: Issuing fresh guidelines for Covid-19, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on Wednesday permitted the State Governments to relax the restriction of 50 percent seating capacity of the Cinema Halls and theaters to higher seating capacity for which a revised Standard Operative Procedure (SOP) will be issued by Information and Broadcasting Ministry in consultation with MHA.

Similarly, the social, religious, sports, entertainment, educational and cultural gatherings have already been permitted up to a maximum of 50 percent of the hall capacity, with a ceiling of 200 persons in closed spaces; and keeping of the size of the ground/space in view, in open spaces. Now such gatherings will be allowed subject to SOP of the State or Union Territories (UTs) concerned.

Now the swimming pools will be permitted for use by all under the revised SOP of the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports (MoYA&S) in consultation with MHA.

Business to Business (B2B) exhibition halls have already been permitted. Now all types of exhibition halls will be permitted, for which a revised SOP will be issued by the Department of Commerce in consultation with MHA.

For further opening up of international air travel of passengers, the Ministry of Civil Aviation (MOCA) may take a decision in consultation with the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) based on the assessment of the situation.

The Centre on Wednesday extended the Covid 19 guidelines till February 28.

The earlier guidelines, issued in December last year, are to expire on January 31.

In the fresh guidelines, the Ministry asked the States and Union Territories (UTs) to emphasize to maintain caution and to strictly follow the prescribed containment strategy focussed on surveillance, containment and strict observance of the guidelines and Standard Operative procedure (SOPs) issued by MHA and Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MOHFW) to be scrupulously followed in all ‘Containment Zones’ in a bid to consolidate the substantial gains that have been achieved against the spread of COVID-19 with the steady decline in number of active and new cases in the country over the last four months.

There shall be no restriction on inter-State and intra-State movement of persons and goods including those for cross land-border trade under Treaties with neighbouring countries. No separate permission or approval or e-permit will be required for such movements.

The persons above 65 years of age, persons with co-morbidities, pregnant women, and children below the age of 10 years are advised to take necessary precautions and use of Aarogya Setu app will continue to be encouraged. The use of Aarogya Setu mobile App will continue to be encouraged.

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