Maharashtra to reopen amusement parks, extend restaurant and shop timings
The Maharashtra government has announced the reopening of amusement parks from Friday. However, water rides will still remain off-limits for visitors at the parks. While shops and restaurants will be permitted to stay open beyond 10 pm in the new easing of COVID restrictions in Maharashtra. The new extended timings for restaurants will be announced soon.
The new decision was taken at the meeting of the state's COVID Task on Monday which was attended by Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray. The Nationalist Congress Party said more relaxations are needed to help businesses recover losses they endured due to the COVID-induced lockdowns and subsequent restrictions.
Maharashtra government also gave green light to theatres and cinema halls to reopen from October 22 as the state’s daily COVID numbers are on the decline with the state recording 1,715 infections in 24 hours on Sunday. For the first time since the pandemic started, Mumbai reported zero deaths related to the virus on Sunday.
Last week, the state government issued standard operating procedures (SOPs) for cinema halls, auditoriums and drama theaters and announced their operation within 50% capacity. According to the guidelines, show timings must be "staggered", and only packaged food and beverages will be sold at the venues. However, the food and beverages cannot be taken inside the screening auditoriums. Aarogya Setu app must be marked safe or the moviegoers must be vaccinated in order to enter the cinemas.