Covid-19: MHA eases restrictions further

Our Bureau. New Delhi | Updated on January 27, 2021

All other activities have been permitted outside Containment Zones   -  The Hindu

The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on Wednesday has issued an Order with Guidelines for Surveillance, Containment and Caution, for Covid-19 saying cinema halls will now be permitted to operate at higher seating capacity.

All other activities have been permitted outside Containment Zones, except the norms in few of the guidelines that will continue to remain in force up to February 28, effective from February 1.

Cinema halls

“Cinema halls and theatres have already been permitted upto 50 per cent of seating capacity. Now they will be permitted to operate at higher seating capacity, for which a revised standard operating procedure (SOP) will be issued by Ministry of Information & Broadcasting in consultation with MHA,” the MHA said in a statement.

All social/ religious/ sports/ entertainment/ educational/ cultural/ religious gatherings have already been permitted upto a maximum of 50 per cent 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.

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Now such gatherings will be allowed subject to SOP of the State/ Union Territory (UT) concerned, it said.

Swimming pools have already been permitted for use of sports persons. Now swimming pools will also be permitted for use of all, for which a revised SOP will be issued by Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports (MoYA&S) in consultation with MHA.

SOP for B2B exhibitions

For Business to Business (B2B) exhibition too, 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, Ministry of Civil Aviation (MOCA) may take a decision in consultation with the MHA based on the assessment of the situation, it said.

SOPs, as updated from time to time, have been prescribed for various activities. These include: movement by passenger trains; air travel; metro trains; schools; higher educational institutions; hotels and restaurants; shopping malls, multiplexes and entertainment parks; yoga centres and gymnasiums, etc.

“These SOPs shall be strictly enforced by the authorities concerned, who shall be responsible for their strict observance,” the MHA said.

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/ approval/ e-permit will be required for such movements, it added.

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Published on January 27, 2021
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