A decision to implement these restrictions was taken during the special meeting of the council of ministers on Sunday

Maharashtra imposes lockdown-like curbs: From transport to theatres, an overview of new guidelines

File photo of Uddhav Thackeray. Twitter@CMOMaharashtra

The Maharashtra government on Sunday announced a weekend lockdown and night curfew during the weekdays from Monday to 30 April, in addition to a slew of other restrictions like closure of private offices, theatres and salons to curb the unprecedented surge in COVID-19 cases.

The weekend lockdown will start from 8 pm on Fridays and last till 7 am on Mondays. Besides, prohibitory orders will be in force during daytime on weekdays, the Chief Minister’s Office (CMO) said in a statement.

A decision to implement these restrictions was taken during the special meeting of the council of ministers chaired by Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray through video-conferencing on Sunday.

Here is an overview of what the restrictions will mean for different sections of society —

Public movement

Section 144 of the CrPC will be in place in the state from 7 am to 8 pm to prohibit gathering of more than five persons at one place during the day time. Night curfew will be in place from 8 pm to 7 am. But medical and essential services have been exempted from the night curfew.

On weekends, people cannot move about in public places without valid reasons.

Gardens, beaches and all public places will be closed from 8 pm to 7 am. If the local administration feels that people crowd these places during day time without observing physical distancing, they will be closed down.

However, restrictions on movement will not apply to people working on essential services. These include medical services, grocery and daily needs shops, public transport, pre-monsoon activities by local authorities, etc.

Offices

All private offices, except in banking, stock market, insurance, pharma, telecommunication and mediclaim sectors, will be shut as part of these restrictions. Work from home is mandatory for private offices, except those in local disaster management, electricity and water supply.

Government offices, except those departments involved in COVID-19 management, will function at 50 per cent of their capacity. Official meetings will be held online and visitors will be barred from entering government offices,

Transport

Public and private transport systems will continue to operate. Taxis and autorickshaws will ferry 50 percent of their total capacity at a time. There will be no standing passengers in public and private buses and masks will be mandatory, the new guidelines said.

Bus drivers, conductors and other employees must have COVID-19 negative test report or get themselves vaccinated at the earliest.

The railway administration has been asked to ensure that outstation trains do not have standing passengers and everyone should have face masks.

Commercial establishments

All shops except grocery, medicines, vegetables and those selling essential items are to stay shut till 30 April. Malls, market places and gyms will also remain closed till the end of the month. All theatres, multiplexes, video parlours, pubs, swimming pools, sports complexes, auditoriums and waterparks will need to shut down completely.

All restaurants and bars will remain closed, except for those that are integral parts of hotels. Takeaway orders, parcels and home delivery services will be allowed between 7 am to 8 pm from Monday to Friday. On weekends, only home delivery services shall be allowed between 7 am to 8 pm.

E-commerce services will continue from 7 am to 8 pm. Salons, beauty parlours will be closed and the staff should get vaccinated at the earliest, the guidelines said. Newspaper printing and distribution will continue.

Agriculture

Agriculture-related activities, including transport of food grains and agriculture produce will continue uninterrupted.

Industries

Industries will be operational, with some conditions for preventing the spread of COVID-19 . Factories and manufacturing units are to scan body temperature of labourers before their entry into the premises. If a labourer or worker tests positive for coronavirus , then all other workers who came in contact with him or her are to be quarantined with pay.

Factories or units with more than 500 workers are to set up their own quarantine facilities.

Construction activities

Construction work would continue only if the premises has facility for workers’ accommodation. If workers fall ill, they will have to be paid full wages.

Places of worship

While places of worship will be closed for devotees, religious rituals there will continue. Priests and staff at the religious places have been asked to get themselves vaccinated immediately.

With inputs from PTI





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