Mumbai | Jagran News Desk: Maharashtra Chief Minister and Shiv Sena supremo Uddhav Thackeray on Saturday announced that cinema halls, auditoriums and theaters have been allowed to reopen in the state from October 22. However, the Chief Minister said that cinema halls, auditoriums and theaters would need to follow appropriate COVID-19 norms to stop the infection from spreading.

"Chief Minister Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray has announced that cinemas and theatres in the state will be allowed to open after October 22 in compliance with health norms. Work is underway to prepare a detailed SOP in this regard and it will be announced soon," the Maharashtra Chief Minister's Office (CMO) said. 

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A complete lockdown was imposed in Maharashtra in April this year following the beginning of the second wave of the pandemic in India. However, the state government has been relaxing the norms in Maharashtra in a "phased manner" with a decline in COVID-19 cases.

On Friday, it announced that religious places and places of worship can reopen in the state from October 7 in adherence to COVID-19 protocols. The decision came just before the beginning of the festive season in India.

"All religious places will be opened from October 7 (when 9-day Navrati festival starts) in the state. The Maharashtra government has prepared itself for a third wave, but with all precautions, the state is allowing relaxations in various activities," Thackeray was quoted as saying by news agency PTI.

Meanwhile, Maharashtra, India's worst affected COVID-19 state, reported 3,286 new coronavirus cases and 51 deaths on Friday that pushed its total caseload and toll to 65.37 lakh and 1.38 lakh respectively. As per the state health department, Maharashtra currently has more than 39,000 active COVID-19 cases and while 63.57 lakh patients have recovered from the infection, taking the state's recovery rate to 97.23 per cent.

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma