Covid-19 cases in India continue to grow in leaps and bounds; the numbers are nearing the 15-lakh mark. Unlock 2.0 draws to a close on Friday, July 31, and the Centre is in the process of formulating guidelines for Unlock 3.0, which will come into effect from August 1.
It is believed that among easing out other restrictions, the Centre may be considering reopening gymnasiums, movie theatres, international air travel, and metro/local trains.
LocalCircles, a community social media platform, conducted a survey to get the collective pulse of the people of India on reopening of gyms, multiplexes, international air travel and metro/local trains, and if they would use/visit them in the next two months. The survey received over 34,000 responses from 255 districts of the country.
Movie theatre, not a choice
In response to the prospect of reopening multiplexes and movie theatres, 32 per cent said they will not go to a theatre or multiplex to watch a movie. Only 3 per cent said they would go many times, while another 3 per cent said they will go once or twice.
This means only 6 per cent citizens are willing to visit a theatres or multiplex in the next 60 days, and the majority feel that opening them is extremely risky, given the Covid-19 situation.
Although cinema hall owners have been seeking the reopening of theatres with 50 per cent seating capacity, concern remains about the air-conditioning inside theatres leading to the spread of the virus from asymptomatic but infected individuals.
Away from gyms
However, when people were asked if they would visit gyms in case the government allows them to open, 6 per cent said they will go as in pre-Covid-19 days, 3 per cent said they would go less frequently than in pre-Covid-19 days, and 32 per cent said they will not go at all.
This clearly shows that only 9 per cent citizens are willing to go back to gyms in the next 60 days, and many feel they shouldn’t be reopened.
Some industry bodies have been putting pressure on the government to restart regular international flight operations from August 1, but the government so far seems to be favouring citizens’ demand in this case.
Bilateral ‘air-bubbles’ have been set up by the Ministry of Civil Aviation with the United States, France, and Germany for repatriation of stranded citizens and certain visa categories like student visa, work visa, etc.
Given the current situation of Covid-19, citizens were asked if the government should open international air travel (arrivals and departures) from August 1. In response, only 31 per cent said yes, while 62 per cent answered no.
Travelling via metro/local trains
Citizens were also asked if metro/local trains are opened as part of Unlock 3.0, would they be willing to use these services in the next 60 days. Only 29 per cent of the respondents answered in an affirmative, while 63 per cent answered in the negative.
So, in summary, the majority of citizens will stay away from gyms, multiplexes, international air travel, and metro/local trains even if these are restarted in Unlock 3.0.