Unlock 5: MHA allows cinemas, multiplexes to reopen from October 15

The states can allow an increased number of people to attend a public gathering from October 15.


The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) came out with its Unlock 5 set of guidelines allowing cinemas, theatres and multiplexes up to 50 percent of their capacity and entertainment parks to open from October 15. Standard operating procedures and guidelines for the reopening of cinemas will be issued by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.

Business to Business (B2B) Exhibitions will be permitted to open, for which, SOP will be issued by the Department of Commerce. Entertainment parks and similar places will be permitted to open, for which the SOP will be issued by Ministry of Health & Family Welfare (MoHFW).

The central government has also allowed states and union territories to decide on re-opening of schools and coaching institutions after October 15. "The decision shall be taken in consultation with the respective school/institution management, based on their assessment of the situation," the MHA said, subject to the below conditions.

However, online/distance learning shall continue to be the preferred mode of teaching and shall be encouraged. Where schools are conducting online classes, and some students prefer to attend online classes rather than physically attend school, they may be permitted to do so, the MHA guideline said. 

Students may attend schools/institutions only with the written consent of parents. Schools will not be allowed to enforce attendance. Schools, which are allowed to open, will have to mandatorily follow the SOP to be issued by Education Departments of States/ UTs.

It also said there would be no restrictions on intra state and interstate movement of persons and goods.

Guidelines for gatherings

The Unlock 5.0 guidelines provides states the flexibility to relax the limit of 100 persons at social/ academic/ sports/ entertainment/ cultural/ religious/ political functions outside the containment zones.

The states can allow an increased number of people to attend a public gathering from October 15. The decision comes before the onset of Dushera, Diwali and Durga puja festivities across India. However, in a closed space a maximum of 50 per cent of the hall capacity will be allowed, with a ceiling of 200 persons.

Wearing of face masks, maintaining social distancing, provision for thermal scanning and use of hand wash or sanitizer will be mandatory.

In open spaces, gatherings shall be allowed keeping the size of the ground/space in view, and with strict observance of social distancing, mandatory wearing of face masks, provision for thermal scanning and hand wash or sanitiser.

To ensure that such gatherings do not spread Covid-19, the state/UT governments have been directed to issue detailed SOPs to regulate such gatherings.

Besides, face coverings and social distancing will continue to be followed in public places. Spitting in public places will be punishable. 

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