The Federal Government on Thursday announced that they are easing coronavirus-related restrictions on different business sectors, as the graph of COVID-19 has shown a general decline across the country. Planning and Development Minister, Asad Umar announced that dine-in restaurants, cinemas and beauty salons would reopen across Pakistan from August 10.
The minister was speaking in a televised address to the nation as the head of the National Command and Operations Centre (NCOC), the primary body overlooking the efforts against the coronavirus pandemic in Pakistan.
The relevant and revised standard operating procedures (SOPs) would be finalized in two days, he explained.
Here’s a list of dates on which various businesses and establishments would be allowed to reopen:
Cinemas & theatres: August 10
Restaurants (dine-in): August 10
Gyms: August 10
Tourism: August 8
The news is like as a ray of hope for filmmakers and those associated to the business. Cinemas worldwide were shutdown in mid-march and all scheduled releases were cancelled. In Pakistan, over 30 titles were aiming for a 2020 release and this much-awaited return may be a sign that much-awaited films like The Legend of Maula Jatt will see the light of the day.
However, there is a long way to go; distributors and producers of big budget films have to plan the releases since worldwide releases are nearly impossible. Even Hollywood is either extending its theatrical releases or moving to digital platforms. Moreover, the threat of a virus is still looming large and audience will be hesitant to go to cinema halls, affecting the footfall and box office collections. Perhaps, old movies will re-release in theaters in the near future, until we return to normalcy.