Movie Theatres to Reopen in Kazakhstan After Seven Month Shutdown

NUR-SULTAN – The government commission to prevent the spread of coronavirus met Oct. 26 and made a decision to reopen movie theatres after nearly a seven-month halt, the Kazakh Prime Minister’s press service reported. 

Photo credit: Kinopark Instagram account

Beginning Oct. 26, movie theaters will be able to operate at 30 percent capacity and following strict distancing rules and the mask regime. 

“We are very glad to have been heard. And we thank you immensely for the support that you have provided to us over eight months,” wrote Kinopark, the nation’s largest cinema chain, on their Instagram account. 

The commission also extended operating hours for trade centers and malls, as well as indoor markets, to Saturdays until 5 p.m, starting Oct. 24.

The restrictions will be eased only in regions where the epidemiological situation is deemed under control – green under the new guidelines. Currently, all regions in Kazakhstan are green, except for the East Kazakhstan Region. 

As of Oct. 20, Kazakhstan had 109,623 COVID-19 cases and 1,768 deaths. The daily increase in coronavirus cases amounted to 115, while hospital beds are only 16 percent occupied. 

Over the past three weeks, police officers conducted nearly 17,000 checks and revealed more than 7,000 quarantine violations. 

At the meeting, Kazakh Prime Minister Askar Mamin complained that people still do not practice necessary caution and broad noncompliance with social distancing rules and the mask regime in public places and transport remains a problem. He instructed the government to tighten its control and enforce compliance with the sanitary rules. 

In line with Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev’s instructions to make PCR testing more affordable for the population, the price was reduced to 9,000 tenge (US$21), lowering it from the previous price which ranged between 11,000 tenge (US$26) to 18,000 tenge (US$42). 

To curb the spread of the infection, the commission also made a decision to reduce the number of international flights and conduct mandatory PCR testing for all passengers arriving in Kazakhstan, including Kazakh citizens. 

Pre-school institutions, billiard and computer clubs, entertainment facilities, banquet halls, bars, and nightclubs will all remain closed. 

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