Tamil Nadu government orders the closure of theatres, shopping malls starting April 26
The current six-hour night curfew and the Sunday total lockdowns will continue according to the official statement
All movie theatres (both single-screens and multiplexes), gymnasiums, all liquor shops (retail and TASMAC, bars, resorts, recreation, and sports clubs), indoor turfs, big format shops, shopping complexes, and malls will be shut down, beginning 4 am April 26, as fresh government restrictions come into effect, to curb a second wave or surge in the diagnosed COVID cases in the state.
The government order, which was released this evening, also said the current six-hour night curfew and the Sunday total lockdowns will continue. Auditoriums, entertainment shows, theatre arts, and meeting halls will not be allowed to function, as per the new restrictions.
The new norms come in the aftermath of Tamil Nadu reporting over 13,000 new COVID-19 cases on a single day (Friday) with 78 deaths.
Earlier this month, the state government had announced that the occupancy in theaters would again be restricted to 50% as last year. The guidelines on that official order also limited the number of shows per day to three, in addition to a complete shutdown of all entertainment theaters and multiplexes on Sundays.
Notably, the theatres were shut at approximately the same time last year to flatten the curve of the COVID pandemic. Consequently, the fate of several films that were scheduled for Summer 2020 remained in question. However, the OTT surge came as a timely respite and the audience began drawing its dose of entertainment from such platforms, despite the closed theatres and the halted production for more than six months.
The effects of this second season of theatre shutdown remains to be seen.