Muted New Year Celebrations Amid Omicron Threat As States Bring Back Curbs | All You Need to Know


Amid concerns of the fast-spreading new Omicron variant of Coronavirus, states and union territories have tightened restrictions days ahead of New Year’s celebrations. Mumbai and Tamil Nadu administration on Wednesday banned all celebrations in beaches and private places while Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant made Covid-19 negative report mandatory to attend parties or enter restaurants.

Here’s a list of states that have imposed Covid curbs ahead of New Year’s

Maharashtra

Maharashtra has reported 167 cases of Omicron variant and has reported a new surge in infections with 2,172 fresh coronavirus cases recorded on Tuesday, up by 50 per cent from 1,426 infections recorded a day before, and 22 new deaths. The state government has imposed Section 144 in Mumbai till midnight of December 31. No social gatherings can take place along beaches or tourist hotspots in the metropolis.

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has banned all gatherings at night from 10 pm till 6 am on December 31 and January 1. The BMC has advised avoiding gatherings at religious places and has requested people to stay home and celebrate new year’s. “People are requested not to gather at any public places like Girgaum Chowpatty, Gateway of India,” an official statement read.

Tamil Nadu

No celebrations will be allowed on beaches and in public places and all hotels and restaurants will have to close operations by 11, the state police said on Wednesday as the state’s omicron tally surged to 45.

Tamil Nadu reported 619 new Covid-19 cases including 11 due to the Omicron variant.

Goa

Chief Minister Pramod Sawant made it mandatory for people to be fully vaccinated or carry a COVID-19 negative report to attend parties or enter restaurants. He said organisers of various events in the state would have to ensure that the guests carry these certificates. The Goa government on Tuesday decided not to impose night curfew in the coastal state for now so that the tourism business amid the Christmas-New Year festival season is not affected.

The announcement comes after the state on Tuesday, reported a sudden spike in coronavirus cases with 112 people testing positive for the infection.

Delhi

The Delhi government has issued ‘Yellow Alert’, banning social and festive gatherings amid a spike in COVID-19 cases as the national capital reports the maximum number of Omicron cases in the country at 238. Shops and establishments of non-essential goods and services and malls will open based on odd-even formula from 10 AM to 8 PM.

The timing of the night curfew imposed from Monday night has also been extended by an hour and it will now begin at 10 pm. The night curfew from 10 pm to 5 am will remain in force till further orders, stated the order issued by the DDMA. Marriages and funerals will be allowed attendance of 20 persons while all other types of gathering related to social, political, cultural, religious and festival events will be prohibited.

Gujarat

The state has extended the night curfew from 11 pm to 5 am till December 31. The gyms and restaurants have been allowed to operate at 75 per cent capacity, while cinema halls can have full occupancy. Night curfew will be in force in eight cities including Ahmedabad, Vadodara, Surat, Rajkot, Bhavnagar, Jamnagar, Gandhinagar and Junagadh. Gujarat has the third highest number of Omicron cases after Maharashtra with 73 cases of variant cases.

Karnataka

The Karnataka government has decided to impose “night curfew” for 10 days from December 28, between 10 pm to 5 am and has restricted all celebrations in the state for New Year’s. “There will be no functions, parties in the external premises, especially for those celebrating with DJs and large gatherings, they have been completely banned in Karnataka,” said health minister K Sudhakar. The minister also said in places like eateries, hotels, pubs and restaurants can have 50 per cent of the seating capacity of the premises.

Telangana

The Telangana government has banned rallies and public meetings till January 2 following High Court orders on imposing Covid-19 curbs but has not restricted New Year celebrations as of now. Telangana has 62 cases of Omicron cases.

Chhattisgarh

The state government issued fresh guidelines for holding religious, social and new year events with an upper limit of 50 per cent.

West Bengal

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday asked officials to review the overall Covid-19 situation in the state. The government has loosed restrictions on New Years. The ongoing restriction on movement from 11 pm to 5 am will continue till January 15, except on New Year’s, the authorities said.

Himachal Pradesh

Himachal Pradesh chief minister Jai Ram Thakur has ordered deputy commissioners to ensure proper adherence of COVID-appropriate behaviour in view of influx of tourists ahead of New Year’s day. Thakur directed the officials to increase testing and form micro-containment zones where COVID-19 positive cases are reported in the area. The Chief Minister also asked the DCs to organise vaccination camps for people coming from other states and surveillance of people coming from abroad to contain the spread of the virus.

Utar Pradesh

The state has imposed night curfew from 11 pm to 5 am in all the cities, while all district officials have been directed to ensure Covid-appropriate behaviour. The government has also capped the number of people allowed at weddings at 200.

Madhya Pradesh

Madhya Pradesh has also imposed a night curfew from 11 pm to 5 am.

Tripura

The Tripura government on Saturday appealed to the people of the state to exercise caution and follow COVID-19 protocols and celebrate Christmas and New Year responsibly. State Information and Cultural Affairs Minister Sushanta Chowdhury said that strict action would be initiated after December 31 against anyone found not wearing masks or violating social distancing norms.

Bihar

Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar ruled out the probability of bringing in restrictive measures. “Yahan abhi koi avashyakta nahin hain” (it is not needed here as of now)”, he said.

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