The Allahabad High Court on Monday ordered a complete lockdown in five cities in Uttar Pradesh till April 26.
The five cities are Lucknow, Prayagraj, Kanpur, Varanasi and Gorakhpur. All these cities have been reporting a high virus load.
Responding to a Public Interest Litigation, the bench, comprising Justice Siddhartha Verma and Justice Ajit Kumar, directed the state government to strictly enforce the curbs.
The court said that all establishments, be it government or private, except financial institutions and financial departments, medical and health services, industrial and scientific establishments, essential services including municipal functions, and public transport, shall remain closed till April 26.
The judiciary will however, function on its own discretion.
All shopping complexes and malls shall remain closed during this period and all grocery shops and other commercial shops, excluding medical shops, with more than three workers shall also remain closed.
All hotels, restaurants and even the small eating points on carts etc shall remain closed.
The court further said that all institutions like educational institutions and other institutions relating to other disciplines and activities, be it government, semi government or private shall remain closed — their teachers and instructors and other staff included.
No social functions and gatherings including marriage functions shall be permitted till April 26.
However, in case of already fixed marriages, a necessary permission would have to be taken from the District Magistrate of the district concerned.
Gatherings would be limited to 25 persons and the District Magistrate concerned shall take decision after giving due consideration to the prevailing situation of the impact of Covid-19 including notification of containment zones in the area where such marriage has to take place.
All religious activities in public of any kind, is directed to remain suspended in this period and all religious establishments of any kind will also remain closed.
All hawkers, including fruits and vegetable vendors, milk vendors and bread vendors, shall go off the road by 11 AM every day till April 26.
Containment zones shall be notified every day in two leading Hindi and English newspapers having wide circulation in the districts of Prayagraj, Lucknow, Varanasi, Kanpur Nagar/Dehat, and Gorakhpur.
All public movements on roads would remain restricted completely, subject to above directions. Movements would be only allowed in case of medical help and emergencies.
The court has further directed the state government to continue implementing the current vaccination programme.