COVID-19: Maharashtra announces night curfew, weekend lockdown amid rise in coronavirus cases

The rules, which come into effect tomorrow, include a curfew from 8 pm to 7 am and a ban on gatherings of five or more throughout the day.

FP Staff April 04, 2021 18:31:31 IST
COVID-19: Maharashtra announces night curfew, weekend lockdown amid rise in coronavirus cases

File image of Uddhav Thackeray. Twitter@OfficeofUT

With coronavirus cases on the rise, the Maharashtra government has decided to impose a night curfew across the state between 8 pm and 7 am from Monday, said NCP minister Nawab Malik.

The state government is expected to release further guidelines and detailed SOPs soon.

However, Deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar has assured that no sudden lockdown will be imposed, as per The Times of India. "People will be informed before imposing restrictions and no sudden lockdown will be imposed in the state," he said.

The rules, which come into effect tomorrow, include a curfew from 8 pm to 7 am and a ban on gatherings of five or more throughout the day. Maharashtra will also observe a weekend lockdown every week from Friday 8 pm toto 7 am on Monday, as per NDTV,

Maharashtra's cabinet minister Aslam Shaikh told reporters that restaurants and hotels will be allowed to offer to take away services only and no dine-in service will be available, theatres and multiplexes to be shut down, but public transport will operate at 50 percent capacity, news agency ANI reported.

Industries and production sector, vegetable markets will function with Standard Operating Procedures (SoPs) and construction sites will operate if there is an accommodation facility for workers, he added.

"Theatres, drama theatres will be shut, while film and television shootings will continue if there is no crowding. Parks and playgrounds will also be closed", NCP leader Nawab Malik told reporters after the cabinet meeting. He also added prohibitory orders issued under Section 144 will be in force throughout the day.

Religious places will have to follow the SoPs, Malik said, adding that that public transport system will remain functional.

The government will also be introducing rules to control crowding in vegetable markets. Everything except essential services will be closed on weekends.

Giving out further details, according to The Indian Express, Health Minister Rajesh Tope said flights, trains and buses will function normally, but have to ensure that there is no overcrowding.

The announcement came after Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray led a cabinet meeting on Sunday to discuss the situation in the state, just two days after he said he could not rule out a second lockdown to combat the spike in coronavirus cases in the state.

With inputs from PTI

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