No New Year Eve public gatherings; guidelines unclear on private parties
Bengaluru: The Karnataka Government has announced that a night curfew will be in place from 10 pm to 5 am for 10 days, starting from Dec. 28. In the light of the rising number of Omicron cases and in order to curb the spread of the Coronavirus in the State, the State Government has announced a series of restrictions ahead of New Year’s Eve.
The decision was announced after a meeting held this morning by Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai with several Ministers including the Health, Revenue and Home Ministers, as well as officials of the Health Department and the COVID-19 Technical Advisory Committee.
Along with the night curfew, all gatherings and New Year’s parties in public places will be prohibited, State Health Minister Dr. K. Sudhakar announced. Pubs, restaurants and other eateries will be allowed to have only 50 percent occupancy on Dec. 31, he said.
However, the guidelines are not clear on small New Year parties organised at homes, private venues, farmhouses and the likes. As there are curbs on public gatherings, people would want to celebrate the arrival of 2022 privately but the rules are silent on this.
“Night curfew is imposed from 28-12-2021 (10 pm) until 07-01-2022 (5 am). From 30-12-2021 till 02-01-2022, restaurants, hotels, clubs, pubs and clubs will function with 50 percent of their seating capacity strictly adhering to COVID-appropriate behaviour. All staff members of the said entities must mandatorily possess COVID-negative RT-PCR report and will be fully vaccinated with two doses of vaccine,” stated the guidelines.
“All gatherings, meetings, conferences including marriages from 28-12-2021 should strictly limit the number of participants to 300 people only. The responsibility to enforce the same lies with the organisers. There shall be intensive patrolling and surveillance at all border districts adjoining Maharashtra and Kerala to prevent the spread, particularly Omicron variant,” the guidelines added.
“There will be no functions, parties in the external premises, especially for those celebrating with DJs and large gatherings, they have been completely banned. We need to understand that Omicron spreads very quickly,” Minister Dr. Sudhakar said.
He also urged the public to receive the second dose of the vaccine as soon as possible. “Today, our State has 38 cases (of the variant). So before it spreads to more people, people need to get both doses of the vaccine,” the Minister added.