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Odisha: Night curfew returns to urban areas from New Year amid Omicron scare

Night curfew shall be imposed in all the urban areas of the State from 10 pm till 5 am every day from the New Year till 1 February.

Statesman News Service | Bhubaneshwar |

Amidst Omicron mutant variant scare, the state government on Thursday clamped fresh curbs and ordered enforcement of a month-long night curfew (from 10 pm to 5 am) every day in urban areas of the State from 1 January.

While issuing the fresh Covid guidelines for the month of January with the detection of Omicron cases, the government said the graded unlocking will be on from 5 am of 1st January 2022 till 5 am of 1st February 2022.

“Night curfew shall be imposed in all the urban areas of the State from 10 pm till 5 am every day from the New Year till 1 February. There shall be no movement of vehicles except for emergencies on the production of proper evidence”, the fresh notification issued by the Special Relief Commissioner stated on Thursday.

During the unlock period, all types of shops, malls shall remain open from 5 am to 10 pm every day. In case of violation of revised Covid guidelines, it shall entail the sealing of shops, shopping complexes and malls for a period along with heavy penalty as decided by the local authorities, the Special Relief Commissioner’s office statement said.

All social and religious gatherings shall be prohibited. Political gathering shall be limited to not more than 100 amid Covid protocol compliance. Annual day celebration and anniversary on the pretext of any reason is also prohibited, the revised COVID protocol maintained.

Picnics in parks, nature clubs, beaches and other picnic spots will not be allowed. No educational institutions will organize excursions and picnics till the end of the month. Also, cultural and dance programmes will not be allowed in hotels, parks, malls, convention centres and Kalyan mandaps, the curbs imposed for January by SRC stated.

Exhibitions, trade fairs, expos, melas, will also remain prohibited. However, official events may be allowed with prior approval of the Government.

Marriages, thread ceremonies, last rites and related gatherings (with one reception) with approval from local authorities shall be allowed with a ceiling of 250 persons (for the entire event) including hosts, guests, priests and catering and other support staff with adherence to COVID guidelines.

“Zero Night celebration, Welcome to New Year and Christmas Celebration in hotels, clubs, restaurants, parks, convention halls, Kalyan Mandaps, etc. is completely banned across the State. No celebration other than marriage (but not receptions and ancillary functions) is allowed across the State. Funeral rites are allowed with due COVID-19 protocols. There shall be strict vigilance on crowding and gathering during the above occasions. No community feast is also allowed. No social gathering, rallies, orchestras, dances and other cultural programmes shall be permitted.”

“All District Magistrates/ Superintendents of Police/ Municipal Commissioners/ Police Commissioner, Bhubaneswar-Cuttack shall strictly enforce the above measures. For the enforcement of social distancing, as far as possible the provisions of Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) of 1973 shall be used. Any person violating these measures will be liable to be proceeded against as per the provisions of Section 51 to 60 of the Disaster Management Act, besides legal action under Section 188 of the IPC, and other legal provisions, as applicable,” the order stated.