Thursday, June 30 2022

Odisha’s government on Tuesday banned gatherings for New Year’s celebrations in hotels and all other public places, saying these congregations have “great potential” for transmission of Covid-19.

Picnics in parks and other public spaces have also been banned.

No community parties will be allowed outdoors on New Year’s Eve, the special relief commissioner said in the renewed Covid-19 guidelines for December.

People usually gather in large numbers at hotels, restaurants, clubs, parks and convention halls on December 31 and January 1 to welcome the New Year.

“These congregations have great potential for spreading Covid-19 infection,” the order said. As a result, gatherings in public places on New Years Eve and New Years Day have been banned, he said.

The government has advised revelers to limit these functions to the premises of their homes.

Only “green crackers” will be allowed during New Year’s celebrations, but not in public, the order stressed.

Weddings, funerals and other such gatherings were allowed with a cap of 250 people, including hosts, guests, priests and caterers. Only 50 people, including the groom and party members, will be allowed to participate in a wedding procession, with the necessary approval from the authorities.

There will be no statewide weekend closures and a nighttime curfew will be in place in all urban areas from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. daily. Cultural programs were allowed, with open-air theaters having a ceiling of 2,000 people, depending on the space.

Cinemas and indoor events will operate at 50 percent of capacity. Those who violate the standards will be sentenced under the Disaster Management Act, the ordinance added.

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