Bengal Relaxes Covid Curbs, Cinemas Get Nod To Open

Ban on vehicular movement between 9 pm and 5 am will continue to be in force. The new set of guidelines will remain in force till August 15

Bengal Relaxes Covid Curbs, Cinemas Get Nod To Open

Buses and taxis are operating now, but vehicular movement is banned from 9 pm to 5 am. File

Highlights

  • Cinema halls in West Bengal can now open at 50% capacity
  • Government events can be held at indoor venues now at 50% capacity
  • Ban on vehicular movement between 9 pm and 5 am remains in force
Kolkata:

The West Bengal government has given the go-ahead to cinema halls to open up from Saturday but with guests up to 50 per cent seating capacity.

The announcement of this relaxation of Covid norms came in a late evening notification. Earlier in the day, the state had announced only one change in Covid restrictions: the government can from now on hold official events in indoor venues with 50% seating capacity.

The new guidelines, effective 31st July to 15th August, repeated the standing instruction that no vehicular movement would be allowed in the state from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m.

Over the last one week, the police appear to have intensified checking on the streets of Kolkata and are reportedly booking more people for violating the 9 pm to 5 am guideline than ever before. The chief secretary of the state is believed to have issued instructions to Kolkata police and the district administration to enforce this rule, especially after late night raids at hotels and restaurants unearthed clandestine parties taking place.

From July 16, the Metro rail in Kolkata has been allowed to operate at 50 per cent capacity.

Buses, taxis and auto-rickshaws, too, have been allowed to operate at 50 per cent capacity.

However, local train services continue to be suspended. Only special trains transporting government officials are operating now.

The earlier set of relaxations also gave a go-ahead to both government and private offices to function at 50 per cent attendance.

As per the state bulletin, West Bengal today recorded 766 new Covid cases and 14 deaths over the past 24 hours. The state has recorded a positivity rate of 1.67 per cent on the 45,936 samples tested today. The number of active Covid cases in the state stands at 11,300.

As for vaccination, 3,96,719 doses of coronavirus vaccines were administered in the state today. The total number of doses administered so far is 2,83,14,440. Over 83 lakh people in the state have received both doses.