Mumbai: Nearly 3 weeks after the central government decision, Maharashtra Government has now allowed cinema halls to open in areas outside containment zones with 50% of their seating capacity from November 5.

According to the press release, Yoga institutes outside the containment zones will also be allowed to function but under strict COVID-19 guidelines.

However, there's still no word on reopening of places of worship in Maharashtra despite mounting pressure on chief minister Uddhav Thackeray, reports Times Now.

The Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) issued by the Uddhav Thackeray-led Maharashtra government states the following.

·         Cinema halls/theatres/multiplexes/drama theatres will be allowed to open with 50% of their seating capacity in areas outside the Containment Zones only with effect from November 5, 2020

·         No eatables will be allowed inside the Cinema halls/theatres/multiplexes/drama theatres.

·         The SOP for the same will be issued by the Cultural Affairs Department and local authorities.

·         The Cultural Affairs Department will take into consideration the SOP issued by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.

Further, all norms of social distancing and precaution to prevent COVID -19 shall be followed.

On Wednesday, the state’s COVID-19 tally increased to 16,98,198 with the addition of 5,505 new cases, while recoveries continued to outstrip fresh infections with 8,728 patients getting recuperated, said a state health department official.

The state also reported 125 deaths, taking the fatality count to 44,548, he said. A total of 8,728 patients were discharged from hospitals in the last 24 hours, pushing the tally of recovered cases to 15,40,005, the official said.