Mumbai Cinemas Scale Back To 50% Capacity After Covid Surge

A harsh reminder that Covid is not going anywhere just yet – cinemas in Indian capital Mumbai have been forced to scale back to 50% capacity just six weeks after they triumphantly returned to full occupancy.

India recorded 26,291 virus cases yesterday, its highest single-day number this year, and the trend has now been upward for several weeks.

As Deadline reported last month, India appeared to have made a remarkable recovery after being a virus hotbed last summer. The country had dropped beneath 10,000 cases per day at the beginning of this year and in response the government re-opened the economy to pre-pandemic levels. Cinemas returned to full occupancy from February 1, and in response distributors lined up slates of high-profile releases.

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation, which is the civic body governing Mumbai, confirmed today’s news in a tweet.

Alongside cinemas, hotels will also return to 50% capacity and no social, political or religious gatherings will be allowed. Weddings will be restricted to 50 people and funerals will be restricted to 20. A work from home order has also been advised, aside from essential workers.

The Janhvi Kapoor-starring genre movie Roohi opened on March 11, the first significant release after cinemas had returned to 100% capacity. Takings stood at $2.38M. That was considered a solid result but the Mumbai news could impact further grosses, though other Indian markets remain at full capacity.

Deadline had an exclusive chat with Janhvi Kapoor last month to discuss her hopes for the Roohi release.

Yesterday, it was announced that the remainder of the India v England T20 cricket series would be played behind closed doors due to the rising number of Covid cases. The first two games in the series had drawn crowds in excess of 60,000.

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