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Odisha allows reopening of cinema theatres, malls amid dip in COVID-19 positivity rate

All official meetings including business to business meetings will be permitted with participation of a maximum of 100 persons.

Statesman News Service | Bhubaneswar |

Further easing the lockdown curbs in the wake of COVID-19 Test Positivity Rate (TPR) dropping below 3%, Odisha government on Saturday announced the reopening of the shopping malls, cinemas halls, theatres and ‘Jatras’ with 50% seating capacity slab from 1 August.

Keeping in view the fact that the infection is yet to fully subside, the night curfew will remain in force across the State from 8 pm till 6 am across during August. The shops will be permitted to carry out trading between 6 am and 8 pm.

The weekend shutdown shall remain in force in Bhubaneswar, Cuttack and Puri towns, which are still accounting the sizable bulk of virus infections.

The unlock guidelines will be in force from 6 AM on 1 August to 6 AM on 1 September 6 AM.

The Special Relief Commissioner, issuing the unlock guidelines for August, left it to the district administrations to take a call on the reopening of places of worship and religious institutions.

“The district collectors and municipal commissioners are authorised to take a call on the opening of religious institutions depending on the local situation”, the SRCs notification said.

Similarly the restaurants, bars and dhabas or the highway-side eateries which were shut in the wake of 2nd wave outbreak of pandemic were allowed to operate with 50 per cent seating capacity.

In a precautionary measure to arrest the chain of infection, the night curfew will remain enforced across the State from 8 pm to 6 am every day.

In a preventive measure to prevent the possible spread of virus in enclosed areas, the government announced that the people above 18 years visiting the malls and theatre in Bhubaneswar, Cuttack and Puri will have to produce fully vaccinated certificates.

“COVID-19 infections are almost negligible and have been brought under control in 27 districts. On the other hand, the infection rate is comparatively on a higher side in Puri, Khurda and Cuttack. However the infection spurt has been flattened in these places and it is not a matter of concern”, said SRC Pradeep Kumar Jena

The government allowed congregations in sea beaches and parks with adherence to COVID-19 protocol. The daily and weekly markets have also been permitted to remain open with strict adherence to COVID guidelines. The street vendors have also been permitted with on-spot eating in compliance with the COVID protocol. The Aahaar Kendras can also operate normally with on-spot eating, a notification by the Special Relief Commission said.

The museums, tourist places, zoos and archaeological monuments are also thrown open for the public with COVID protocols. The Inter-state and intra-state public transport will remain functional with seating capacity only. All educational institutions, including coaching, will function in accordance with the guidelines issued by respective departments. However the ceiling on guests (25) at weddings and 20 for funerals and thread ceremonies will continue to remain enforced.

All official meetings including business to business meetings will be permitted with participation of a maximum of 100 persons. During official programmes for inauguration and laying of foundation stone, maximum 30 persons will be permitted, the SRC’s unlock guidelines added.