The Ministry of Health is responsible for all the guidelines in place for various industries during the COVID-19 pandemic. Following a stringent lockdown for more than six months in 2020, multiple industries are slowly returning back to normalcy. However, the movie theaters were only allowed to reopen in October 2020 with a 50% seating capacity and is the worst hit sector on account of the pandemic.
In what can be called as a welcome relief to the movie industry, the Ministry of Health finally rescinded its orders for 50% seating occupancy in movie theaters. According to the new orders, the Ministry of Health will not be the deciding entity for the new standard operating procedures for movie theaters and has instead left the decision to the State Governments. The new rules will also apply to swimming pools and wedding functions, as the MoH leaves the final decision to the State Governments. In the new orders, movie theaters are allowed to operate at 100% capacity from February 1st, 2021.
The year 2021 is off to a great start as audiences flocked to theaters during the festive season and production houses have begun to announce release dates for movies which were supposed to be released in 2020. The Tamil Nadu Government issued an order allowing movie theaters to run with 100% occupancy ahead of Thalapathy Vijay’s Master release. However, the MoH and Madras High Court intervened and asked the tamil Nadu Government to stick to the guidelines. But the latest orders from MoH will definitely be a good sign for an industry which was severely crippled by the pandemic.