West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Friday allowed 100% occupancy in cinema halls in her state. Banerjee, while addressing the inauguration ceremony of the 26th edition of the KIFF said, “Because of the pandemic, at present, only 50% occupancy in cinema halls is allowed. I would ask the state’s chief secretary to come up with a notification today so that 100% seats can be occupied.”Also Read - West Bengal Covid Update: Existing Restrictions and Relaxations to Continue till December 15

The week-long Kolkata International Film Festival (KIFF) was inaugurated on Friday. Also Read - Suhana Khan is Heartbroken As She Is Set To Leave New York But Will Remain A Newyorker | See Her Post

“I would urge cinema hall owners to ensure that people wear face masks and use hand sanitizers. Sanitization should be done after every show. Every audience should carry his own sanitizer or tissue paper. Nowadays you also get machines with which you can sanitize the entire hall in just five minutes,” she added. Also Read - West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee Meets PM Modi, Discusses BSF's Jurisdiction Extension Issue

This comes days after the centre asked the Tamil Nadu government to revoke its order to increase the occupancy in cinemas, theatres and multiplexes to 100% capacity saying it diluted the guidelines issued by the Union ministry of home affairs (MHA).

This year, 81 full-length feature films and 50 short films and documentaries from around 45 countries would be screened in eight venues over the next one week. The KIFF is usually held in the month of November every year but had to be postponed because of the pandemic in 2020. While the state had more than 36,000 active cases in November, the number has come down to less than 9,000 now.

Even though citizens can book the tickets online, three helpdesks have also been set up at Nandan, Tollygunge and Salt Lake for those who find difficulty in booking tickets online.