Tamil Nadu cancelled 100 per cent occupancy in movie theatres today after the Centre objected to it and asked the state to scrap the order. Theatres will now have 50 per cent occupancy, as per the Centre’s guidelines. The AIADMK government of the state had lifted the restrictions on movie theatres on Tuesday.
The Union home ministry has so far allowed 50 per cent occupancy in movie theatres outside containment zones as part of the phased ‘Unlock’ process.
The state government had granted permission to cinema halls to reopen with 50 per cent seating capacity from November 10. Tamil Nadu had on Tuesday increased the seating capacity of cinemas, theatres, multiplexes from existing 50 per cent to 100 per cent following COVID-19 protocols.
Many film actors requested the government to allow 100 per cent capacity before the festival of Pongal. After this the state increased the occupancy. The Centre had asked for this provision to be scapped the next day.
The Home Ministry had given Tamil Nadu a reminder to follow the Centre’s coronavirus guidelines.
“State/UT governments shall not dilute these guidelines… in any manner and shall strictly enforce the same,” the letter read, pointing to the ministry guidelines.
“In view of the above, the GoTN (Government of Tamil Nadu) is requested to immediately issue necessary order to bring their guidelines in line with the MHA guidelines dated 28th December 2020 and inform compliance to this ministry,” the letter read.
The letter also cited a Supreme Court order that asked states to enforce Covid-appropriate behaviour, including wearing of masks and maintaining social distancing.