Odisha bans public New Year celebrations due to Covid

Odisha bans New Year celebration in public places due to Covid-19

Picnics at parks and other public spaces have also been barred

Only 'green crackers' will be allowed during the New Year celebrations, albeit not in public. Credit: Unsplash Photo

The Odisha government on Tuesday prohibited gatherings for New Year celebrations at hotels and all other public places, stating that such congregations have "large potential" for Covid-19 transmission.

Picnics at parks and other public spaces have also been barred.

No community feast shall be allowed in the open on the occasion of New Year's Eve, the special relief commissioner said in the renewed Covid-19 guidelines for December.

People usually gather in large numbers in hotels, restaurants, clubs, parks and convention halls on December 31 and January 1 to welcome the New Year.

"Such congregations have large potential for the spread of the Covid-19 infection," the order stated. Hence, gatherings in public places on New Year's Eve and New Year's Day have been prohibited, it said.

The government advised revellers to limit such functions on the premises of their homes.

Only 'green crackers' will be allowed during the New Year celebrations, albeit not in public, the order underlined.

Marriages, funerals and other such gatherings have been granted permission with a ceiling of 250 people, including hosts, guests, priests and caterers. Only 50 people, including bridegroom and band members, will be allowed to take part in a wedding procession, with necessary approval from authorities.

There will be no weekend shutdown across the state and night curfew will be in place in all urban areas from 10 pm to 5 am every day. Cultural programmes have been granted permission, with open air theatres being given a ceiling of 2,000 people, depending on the space.

Movie theatres and events at indoor halls will operate at 50 per cent seating capacity. Those violating the norms will be booked under the Disaster Management Act, the order added. 

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