Two days after the Tamil Nadu government allowed 100% occupancy in cinema halls in the state, the Union Ministry has raised objection to the same. The Home Minister said that 100% occupancy cannot be allowed yet. The State government has been asked to scrap the earlier order.
In October 2020, the Union Ministry had allowed theatres to operate at 50% occupancy. The letter from Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhallia said the Home Ministry has extended the same guideline till January 31. "State/UT governments shall not dilute these guidelines... in any manner and shall strictly enforce the same," the letter read.
The letter also cited a Supreme Court order that has asked states to enforce COVID appropriate behaviour including maintaining social distancing and wearing of masks.
"In view of the above, the GoTN (Government of Tamil Nadu) is requested to immediately issue necessary order to bring their guidelines in line with the MHA guidelines dated 28th December 2020 and inform compliance to this ministry," the letter read.
Tamil Nadu became the first state to increase the theatre occupancy to 100% since the pandemic. The announcement came a week after actor Vijay and the team of the upcoming film Master met with the TN Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami. Reportedly, during the meeting they requested to allow 100 % seating capacity in theatres ahead of the release of their film. Directed by Lokesh Kanagaraj, Master will be released on January 13.
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