50% Occupancy in Cinemas, Negative Covid Report at Malls: Maharashtra Weekend Guidelines

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With coronavirus cases rising at an alarming rate, the Maharashtra government on Friday issued a fresh notification with a new set of Covid-19 guidelines, asking private offices, except those related to health and other essential services, and cinemas to function at 50 percent of their capacity.

A day after Maharashtra witnessed the highest one-day spike of 25,833 COVID-19 cases, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray said lockdown is an option but he trusts people to follow the norms on their own. Talking to reporters in Nandurbar, Thackeray also appealed to people to get vaccinated against the virus without fear.

On Friday, the state recorded 25,681 cases, a health official said, adding Mumbai reported the highest spike of 3,062 new infections.

Here is the set of guidelines for the weekend in Maharashtra:

– The Maharashtra government issued a notification asking drama halls to operate only at 50 per cent of their capacity till March 31.

– The state government warned that they will have to remain closed for a period until the pandemic stays notified as a disaster by the Centre if there is any violation.

– Visitors at shopping malls must carry a Covid-19 negative test report. In case any visitor doesn’t have a negative COVID-19 test report, then he/she will have to get a Rapid Antigen Test done at the entrance of the shopping mall. “A team will be designated at the entrance for this very purpose. The details are being worked out,” BMC official told the DNA.

– Private offices, except those related to health and other essential services, have been asked to function only at 50 per cent of their capacity, it said.

– Auditoriums in the state too should operate only at 50 per cent of their capacity till March 31.

– Meanwhile, marketplaces such as fruit, vegetable and flower hubs at Mumbai's Dadar may be shifted to a new site to manage the crowd better, the Business Standard reported.

Chief Minister Thackeray acknowledged that the COVID-19 situation has become grimmer as the number of new cases on Friday crossed the earlier highest rise which was recorded in September.

“I see lockdown as an option going ahead. But I trust people of the state to cooperate (and follow the COVID-19 norms voluntarily) like the last time.”