Classes for students of colleges, grades 9 and 11 to commence in TN from Feb 8

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Chennai, Jan 31 (PTI) Classes for students of all colleges, universities and those studying ninth and eleventh grades in schools would commence from February 8, Chief Minister K Palaniswami announced here on Sunday.

For games including cricket, 50 per cent occupancy is allowed in stadiums, he said.

Chennai is all set to host two test matches against England beginning February 5. Authorities have already announced that spectators would not be allowed for the first test.

From February 1, Palaniswami said 100 per cent occupancy shall be allowed in all types of movie theatres including single screens and multiplexes, he said in an official release announcing fresh relaxations from curbs, initiated to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Swimming pools, exhibition halls, grievance redressal day events in districts, a ritual of 'Theerthamaduthal' in the temple town of Rameswaram are all allowed and petrol stations that were allowed to operate only till 10 pm could function without any restriction.

While classes for students of 10 and 12 started from January 19 and hostel facilities for them also opened this month, the government said classes for ninth and eleventh grades would start from February 8.

Hostel facilities for students of colleges, varsities and those in schools shall also open.

The classes for college and university students covered undergraduate, postgraduate and diploma courses in all streams including arts, science, engineering, agriculture and fisheries.

As regards religious, political, social, cultural, entertainment and educational events, 50 per cent capacity or a maximum of 600 people would be allowed in indoor auditoriums from February 1, he said.

For events in open grounds too, the present norm of a maximum 50 per cent capacity shall continue.

Guidelines and Standard Operating Procedures issued by the government for preventing the spread of COVID-19 would apply, Palaniswami said and appealed to people to follow social distancing, wear masks and wash hands with soap and water.

The Tamil Nadu government had on January 8 cancelled its order permitting 100 per cent occupancy in cinema theatres citing an advisory from the Centre and a petition in the Madras High Court for revoking its decision.

The government had on January 4 permitted full capacity in cinemas ahead of the release of actor Vijay starrer 'Master' on January 13 on the eve of 'Pongal' festival. PTI VGN ROH ROH