India News

Theatres in Delhi Shut Down as Covid-19 Cases Rise; ‘Jersey’ Release Postponed

The Delhi Government on Tuesday announced a yellow alert in the city and ordered cinema halls, theatres, and multiplexes, to be closed along with other restrictions.


It was only in October that theatres in the city were allowed to operate at full seating capacity after opening up in July. Earlier, in April, the government had closed down the theatres due to the second wave of Covid-19. Post opening in July, theatres were allowed to operate only at 50 percent seating capacity.

“As the Covid-19 positivity rate has been above 0.5 percent for the past few days, we are enforcing Level-I (yellow alert) of the Graded Response Action Plan. A detailed order on restrictions to be implemented will be released soon,” Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said on Tuesday.

Delhi reported the highest-single day spike in Covid-19 cases in six months on Monday. The city had reported 331 new cases with the positivity rate rising to 0.5 percent for two days.

Immediately after this announcement, the makers of Shahid Kapoor‘s Jersey announced that the film won’t be released on December 31. A press release from producers Allu Entertainment, Dil Raju Production, Sithara Entertainments, and Brat Films stated, “In view of the current circumstances and new Covid guidelines we have decided to postpone the theatrical release of our film Jersey. We have received immense love from you all so far and want to thank you all for everything. Until then everyone please stay safe and healthy, and wishing you all the best for the new year ahead.”

While this decision is likely to affect earnings of the films films currently running in theatres like 83Spider-Man: No Way Home, and Pushpa, it is yet to be seen whether the much-delayed RRR sticks to its original release date of January 7. The film is set to release just a week ahead of the Sankranti festival and features an all-star cast.


In the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020, theatres were shut across the country from March the same year following a nationwide lockdown. In October 2020, the Centre permitted theatres to reopen with 50% seating occupancy across the country. When the second wave of the pandemic began gaining momentum in the country, Maharashtra, KarnatakaTamil Nadu and New Delhi issued new guidelines and imposed restrictions and night curfews in their respective states.

The latest announcement from the Delhi government comes as a blow to theatre owners who, with the release of several big budget films in theatres during Diwali, including Rajinikanth’s Annaatthe and Akshay Kumar’s Sooryavanshi, were hoping that the business was heading towards a revival.