Guwahati: With the Centre's Unlock 2.0 coming to an end on July 31, all eyes will be on the Government's new rules that shall come into effect with the coming of the Unlock 3.0 phase. For sure, there will be several more relaxations, while many restrictions are also expected to remain in place.
After the gradual opening of the retail, hospitality, and travel industry in the country, the cinemas will also be looking to open to their doors to cineastes after the easing of restrictions. The Multiplex Association of India (MAI), a body of cineplexes, remains buoyant that the restrictions in showing movies will be lifted by the Centre in the next phase of the 'unlock'. This is especially so in view of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting proposing the reopening of cinema halls to the Ministry of Home Affairs.
However, there is concern over the air-conditioning at the theatres -- a single person being infected with the viral disease could lead to the circulation of infected air. Another bone of contention is over the cinema hall owners being in favor of reopening theatres with 50 percent seating capacity.
However, the Ministry has suggested reopening theatres with 25 percent seating initially and following all the social distancing protocols, which could cut into the profits of the theatre owners. Despite this, leading multiplex chains across India are arranging paperless tickets, seat distancing, staggered intervals and sanitizing as part of the safety protocol.
Meanwhile, reports have suggested that gyms, closed down ever since the pandemic landed on our shores, could also be re-opened in the Unlock 3.0. However, states will likely be given autonomy to choose whether or not to permit the gymnasiums to resume operations.
However, there is no formal word from the government on reopening of gyms and cinema halls or whether the metros and schools will remain shut.