Maharashtra Announces Fresh COVID-19 Curbs


Amid the sharp spike in daily COVID-19 cases and fear of Omicron variant, the Maharashtra government on Saturday prohibited movement in public in groups of five or more from 5 in the morning to 11 at night, effective January 10 midnight.

Further, no movement will be allowed in public from 11 pm to 5 am except for essential services, a government circular said.

The state had reported more than 40,000 new cases of coronavirus on Friday. Schools and colleges will be closed till February 15 except for activities required to be undertaken for class 10 and 12 students and administrative activities of teachers, it said.

No visitors will be allowed at government offices except with written permission of office heads. Online interaction facility will be provided for people through video conference. Government offices should opt for work from home and working hours should be staggered if work from office is required, the circular said.

Private offices have also been asked to rationalize the number of employees coming to work by allowing work from home and staggering working hours. Attendance at marriages and social, religious, cultural or political gatherings will be capped at 50.

At funerals, not more than 20 persons can remain present. Swimming pools, gyms, spas, wellness centres, beauty salons will remain closed. Hair cutting salons will function at 50 per cent capacity. 

Sporting events would be deferred, except national and international-level competitions already scheduled. But such events would take place without spectators and with the creation of a bio- bubble for players and officials.

RT-PCR and Rapid Antigen Tests will be mandatory for players and officials every third day of the event or tournament, the circular said. Entertainment parks, zoos, museums, forts and other ticketed places for public will be closed. Shopping malls and market complexes can operate at 50 per cent capacity, and information about the present number of visitors should be displayed on noticeboard.

Only fully vaccinated people will be allowed to enter malls and shopping complexes, and these establishments will be closed after 10 pm. Restaurants and eateries will also function at 50 per cent capacity and a present number of visitors will be displayed on the notice board. They too can remain open only till 10 pm.

Cinema theatres and drama halls will also function at 50 per cent capacity. Public transport will be allowed only for fully vaccinated persons. Competitive exams, where hall tickets have been issued, will be held as per the central government guidelines. All other future exams will be conducted only after receiving permission from the State Disaster Management Authority, the circular said.

 (PTI) 






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