Over the last week, the news of rising Covid cases in China has been making news worldwide. The neighbouring country practiced the zero-Covid strategy since the beginning of the pandemic. As part of this strategy, cities and districts would be locked down even if a single case was detected. After the citizens put up a huge protest across the country, the Chinese government decided to remove most of the Covid-related curbs. It immediately led to an insane increase in Covid cases and also hospitalizations and deaths. Meanwhile, countries like South Korea, Thailand, and the USA etc also reported a surge in Coronavirus cases. It led to fear that it might lead to another wave in India.
Karnataka is the FIRST state to make masks mandatory in theatres; recent surge in Covid cases in China unlikely to affect Avatar: The Way Of Water’s business in India
Since the last few days, all states are on alert mode with the central government even asking for random testing of 2% of passengers arriving from international flights. While the states have avoided putting any restrictions, Karnataka has decided to make the mask rule compulsory in indoor spaces, including cinemas. Today, on December 26, the health minister of the Southern state, K Sudhakar, told the media that wearing masks will be mandatory in movie theatres, schools and colleges. That’s not all. Patrons will have to wear masks when they ring in the New Year in pubs, restaurants and pubs. Also, New Year celebrations will be required to end before 1:00 am.
Trade experts feel that mandatory use of masks will not impact footfalls in any way. A trade source said, “Though a lot of brouhaha has been made over the rise of cases in China, there’s no fear among the public as it was in 2020 and 2021. The experts have also clarified that the variant causing cases in China has been in India for a long time. Hence, the cinema business is unlikely to get affected, even if the mask rule is implemented.”
An industry insider remarked, “Yesterday, on Christmas, holiday spots like hill stations and restaurants and pubs across the country were full and crowded. The same goes for cinema halls. Sunday saw a big turnout in cinemas, especially for Avatar: The Way Of Water. In Karnataka’s capital city Bengaluru, it is running to house full shows even on weekdays. A few other states might also implement the mask rule but it’ll not make the public fear venturing into the theatres and multiplexes. As of now, all is fine and all eyes are on the big Pongal releases like Ajith-starrer Thunivu and Vijay-starrer Varisu, followed by Shah Rukh Khan-starrer Pathaan on Republic Day.”
Trade and industry sources are also confident that at the most, states might ask moviegoers to wear masks in cinemas. Rules like 50% occupancy are unlikely to be enforced.
Also Read: Makers of Vivek Agnihotri’s The Vaccine War, “Few agencies, parties and media houses worked towards defaming India’s vaccine victory”
More Pages: Avatar: The Way of Water (English) Box Office Collection , Avatar: The Way of Water (English) Movie Review
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