Only a few theatres opened as owners ensured that the government-issued guidelines, including disinfecting of seats and ensuring full vaccination of staff members, were in place over the past two days.
Theatres, public parks, and beaches in Tamil Nadu reopened on Monday, in line with the state government’s latest relaxations, nearly fours after they were closed during the second Covid-19 wave.
People began flocking to the hugely popular Marina beach since early morning. Prior to the latest relaxations, only joggers and walkers were allowed between from 5-9 am along the service lane stretch. The move was welcomed by fitness enthusiasts who urged the public to strictly follow the safety guidelines. Police personnel are patrolling the shoreline and spreading awareness about Covid-19 through public announcement systems.
The government has also permitted zoological gardens, botanical parks, and boathouses to reopen. Nilgiris Department officials said Sims Park in Coonoor, the Ooty Boat House, and museums have reopened for the public, IE Online reported.
However, the Arignar Anna Zoological Park in Chennai, which recently hit headlines after two lions died and several others tested positive for Covid-19 is yet to reopen. Deputy Director Naga Sathish told IE Online they were yet to receive an official government order and would probably open from Wednesday.
On the other hand, only a few theatres opened as owners ensured that the government-issued guidelines, including disinfecting of seats and ensuring full vaccination of staff members, were in place over the past two days.
The state government had first ordered theatres to shut in March 2020 as Covid-19 began to spread. The theatres reopened in November, but seating was capped at 50 per cent. However, the second Covid-19 wave forced the government to order a shutdown of theatres again in April.
Actor-producer Chitra Lakshmanan told IE Online that around 400 standalone theatres had reopened from Monday, while multiplexes would open by Thursday or Friday after finalising the film scheduling. He added that owners had given an undertaking that all theatres would be computerised by December to increase transparency about ticketing costs. It is likely that a dedicated server would be set up for the purpose.
Tamil Nadu Theatres Owners’ Association leader and veteran distributor Tiruppur Subramaniam had said ticket prices would not be increased due to the pandemic.