Within days of permitting 100% occupancy in cinema halls, the Tamil Nadu Government on Friday withdrew its decision. The Ministry of Home Affairs had objected to the State’s decision. Besides, the Madras High Court also on Friday warned against complacency in dealing with the spread of COVID-19 just because the number of infections were falling.
By evening, the State Government restored the earlier cap of 50% seating occupancy in cinema halls. However, ahead of the Pongal festival season it allowed cinemas to hold extra shows to make good any loss.
The Government said that it had earlier allowed full occupancy taking into account the welfare of the workers in the cinema exhibition industry. However, in view of the Home Ministry’s guidelines and legal intervention, now theatres would be allowed only to operate with 50% seating.