India News

Several States Relax Curbs on Cinemas As Covid-19 Cases Decline

Several states across India have eased the restrictions imposed on the functioning of cinema halls as Covid-19 cases slowly decline.


The Karnataka government is the latest to announce relaxation by allowing theatres to operate at full capacity from Saturday (February 5).

The decision was taken at a meeting chaired by Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai with the Health Minister K Sudhakar and other officials. Addressing the media persons, Sudhakar said, “Theatres and film industry had faced losses due to COVID, so aimed at creating a conducive atmosphere for them to carry on with their activities and for the benefit of the people, it has been decided that theatres can operate with 100 per cent seating capacity from tomorrow itself.”

He added that the decision was taken as the rate of hospitalisation in the state had reduced to 2%  which was earlier 5% or 6%. The minister also noted that those going to theatres should wear masks compulsorily and food items will not be allowed inside. It may be noted that only fully vaccinated people will be permitted to enter the theatres.

The Kerala government meanwhile on Friday noted that districts Thiruvananthapuram, Pathanamthitta, Alappuzha, Kottayam, Idukki, Ernakulam, Thrissur, Palakkad, Wayanad and Kannur have now been put in Category B. So theatres in all districts except Kollam are operational with 50% seating capacity from Saturday.

Following this announcement, the makers of Hridayam announced that the film will be screened in all theatres in Kerala. Earlier with the closure of theatres and other curbs, many Malayalam films had postponed their releases. Now that the situation is getting better, new release dates are being announced. On the list is Tovino Thomas -starrer Naaradhan which is rescheduled to release on March 3 and Soubin Shahir’s Kallan D’Souza which is set to release on February 11.


The theatres have been permitted to open with 50% occupancy in Delhi, Haryana and 11 districts in Maharashtra including Mumbai. On the other hand, the Bengal government has increased the seating capacity in theatres to 75% from 50%. In Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh, the theatres continue to operate at 50% capacity while cinema halls in Telangana, are operating at full occupancy. And earlier this week, many Tamil and Telugu films announced new release dates– Ajith Kumar-starrerValimai on February 24, RRR, Don on March 25 and Acharya on April 29. 

On Friday, India reported 1.49 lakh new Covid cases, taking the total tally to 4,19,52,712. The new cases were 13% lower than Thursday and the positivity rate also fell to 9.2%.