Kerala government eases restrictions for cultural, recreational activities

Participation is restricted to a maximum of 100 persons for indoor venues and 200 persons for outdoor venues for all programmes.

The Kerala government issued guidelines further easing COVID-19 lockdown restrictions imposed on cultural programmes and other recreational activities.

As part of the fifth phase of the “unlock” strategy that came into effect on January 5, traditional (or artistic) performances will be permitted as part of religious festivals with restricted participation. Cultural programmes and performances of the arts will be allowed to be organised in both indoor and outdoor venues, with public participation restricted to those with passes or tickets.

Small-scale performances like street plays, however, are allowed to be organised without the issuance of passes or tickets. Nonetheless, COVID-19 protocols must be strictly adhered to during such programmes.

Participation is restricted to a maximum of 100 persons for indoor venues and 200 persons for outdoor venues for all programmes.

Movie theatres are allowed to function with a maximum occupancy of up to 50% through tickets or passes. To enforce social distancing, alternate seats must be left vacant by physical markers to ensure no two persons sat in adjoining seats.

Exhibition halls will be permitted to function only for business-to-business purposes and not for the general public.

Training of sportspersons in swimming pools can be resumed, provided the facilities are disinfected regularly to avoid possible spread of infection.

Hostels meant for students belonging to Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes categories will also be allowed to function in view of schools reopening for classes X and XII.

Optimum number of Sectoral Magistrates deployed

District Collectors have been tasked with deploying an optimum number (between 10 and 15) of Sectoral Magistrates in each district from January 5 on a rotational basis. These officers will be entrusted with identifying violations of COVID-19 protocols in the evenings, holidays and at large public gatherings. At the same time, the Home Department will issue orders to extend the magisterial powers of these officials till February 28.

While the Commissioner of Disaster Management will be in charge of redeployment of Sectoral Magistrates, the district police chiefs are entrusted with the responsibility of ensuring all such officials are accompanied by police personnel.

The order has also stated that the present system of notifying containment zones by the State Disaster Management Authority will continue. The District Collectors will be authorised to adopt appropriate measures, including imposition of additional restrictions, in containment zones.

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