New Delhi: The Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) on Friday issued an order allowing full-seating capacity in cinema halls, theaters and multiplexes, and also raised the number of people allowed to attend weddings and last rites from 100 to 200.

The order, listing various allowed and restricted activities because of the Covid pandemic, will come into effect from November 1.

It stated that owners of cinema halls, theaters and multiplexes will be responsible for strict adherence to standard operating protocol (SOP), official guidelines and Covid-appropriate behavior at the premises.

“In case any violation is found, strict penal, criminal action shall be taken against the owner of the restaurant, bar, cinemas, theaters and multiplexes,” said the order.

Cinemas, theaters, multiplexes in the city were closed with the imposition of lockdown in April amid a raging second wave of Covid infections. They were allowed to reopen with 50 per cent seating capacity in the last week of July.

The order also allowed meetings and conferences in banquet halls of the city. So far, only marriages and exhibitions were allowed there.

The order permitted funeral and marriage-related gatherings with a ceiling of 200 people. During the Covid surge in April, attendance at funerals was scaled down to 20 while marriages were permitted with the presence of 50 people.

With improvement in the Covid situation, 100 people were allowed in both types of gatherings.

All classes in schools will also resume from November 1 according to the order. This decision was taken in a meeting of DDMA earlier this week because of appreciable improvement in the Covid situation in the city. Senior classes (nine to 12) were restarted earlier with a maximum 50 per cent seating capacity.

All social, political, sports, entertainment, cultural, religious gatherings will remain prohibited. However, festival-related gatherings will be allowed according to the DDMA’s September 30 order.

Restaurants and bars will continue to open with a 50 per cent seating capacity. Delhi Metro and public transport buses will ply with full seating capacity but no standing passengers will be allowed, stated the order.

All the allowed and restricted activities will be permitted till the intervening night of November 15-16 or till any further orders, it added.

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