Tamil Nadu government has allowed 100 percent occupancy in cinemas, single screen theatres and multiplexes under a new order issued on Monday (4 January).
"Now, therefore the government hereby permits to increase the seating capacity of cinemas/theatres/multiplexes from existing 50 per cent to 100 per cent by following the Standard Operating Procedure issued already," says the order, according to The Indian Express.
This directive comes days after actor Vijay had a meeting with Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami, where he requested that the current restrictions be eased. The actor is readying for the release of his film Master on 13 January. Another major feature, Simbu's Eeswaran will be out on 14 January.
Tamil Nadu is the first state to make this shift, while neighbouring states have allowed cinemas to reopen with only 50 percent attendance to ensure physical distance is maintained between patrons.
The News Minute writes that the move has been criticised as theatres are air-conditioned spaces and a 100 percent seating capacity would eliminate all scope of physical distancing, leading to the virus multiplying at an alarming rate.
Livemint reports that Tamil Nadu recorded 867 new COVID-19 cases in the last 24 hours, taking the state's count to 8,20,712 cases and 12,156 fatalities.
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