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Odisha clamps restrictions on Christmas, New Year celebrations amid Omicron scare

The revised guidelines issued by the Special Relief Commissioner placed a cap of 50 persons in Churches in Christmas celebrations.

SNS | Bhubaneswar |

The Odisha government on Friday enforced weeklong restrictive measures on human activities from tomorrow in view of the rising cases of Omicron variant infection of COVID-19.

The revised guidelines issued by the Special Relief Commissioner placed a cap of 50 persons in Churches in Christmas celebrations.

Similarly, Zero Night, welcome to New Year in hotels, clubs, restaurants, parks convention halls, kalyan mandaps is prohibited across the state till January 2.

The state government had earlier clamped restrictions on religious festivals, other festivals and functions for containment of Covid-19 with effect from December 1, 2021 to 5 AM of January 1, 2022.

“And whereas, within a matter of few days the new Covid variant B.1.1529 or Omicron has been the cause of concern for the state as it has been detected in Odisha. The government of India has identified fourteen as ‘at risk’ countries and mandated home isolation for all who arrive from these countries and are Covid negative in airport screening,” the notification stated.

The Christmas celebration shall be limited to Churches with a maximum of 50(fifty) persons joining the mass by strictly following COVID protocols and in terms of specific conditions as imposed by District Magistrates/Municipal Commissioners/ Local Authorities while permitting such mass if any.

There will be no Zero Night celebration, Welcome to New Year in hotels, clubs, restaurants, parks, convention halls, Kalyan Mandaps.

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, the SRC’s notification concluded.