The severely impacted cinema theatre owners in the pandemic will heave a sigh of relief as the Karnataka government has now allowed cinema halls to operate with a 50 per cent occupancy from July 19 (Monday), after adhering to COVID-19 protocols.
The state government has also reduced the duration of night curfew by one hour and now the curfew timings will be from 10 pm to 5 am from July 19, while higher educational institutions like colleges and universities will also open their doors from July 26.
The decision to further ease COVID rules was taken on Sunday at a meeting chaired by Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa with senior ministers and officials at his residence, said media reports.
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The NewsMinute reported that students and staff will be allowed to attend colleges for physical classes only if they have received at least one dose of any COVID-19 vaccine. Attending physical classes in college however will be optional.
The Karnataka government had imposed restrictions from April 28, which was made more stringent from May 10 as the COVID-19 daily tally had exceeded 50,000 cases on May 5. The norms were further relaxed after cases started to drop from June 14, eased further on June 21 and again on July 5.
On Saturday, the state reported 1,869 fresh infections, 42 deaths and 30,082 active cases.
Meanwhile, anticipating a possible third wave, the government is gearing up to train doctors and paramedics in district hospitals across the state, to fight the pandemic’s possible third wave. The state has also taken safety measures to ensure that neighbouring states like Kerala and Maharashtra do not spread the infection in the districts in Karnataka.