NEW DELHI/MUMBAI: Amid fears about the new coronavirus variant confirmed in the United Kingdom that has forced the governments across the globe to take unprecedented precautionary measures, the new restrictions are likely to dampen the New Year 2021 revelries across the country.
Several state governments across the country have taken preventive measures to prevent large gatherings as part of their strategy to trace and treat passengers who returned from the UK in recent days and their contacts. In the wake of a new variant of SARS-CoV-2 virus, Ministry of Health has also issued the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs). These restrictions are most likely to affect the New Year's Eve celebrations in many cities as authorities have banned New Year parties and imposed night curfew along with Section 144 to prevent big gatherings.
With COVID-19 mass vaccination has begun in many countries and a dry run for the same is being conducted in fours states, the health experts have warned that adequate precaution is a must to prevent the deadly virus from spreading further.
There will be no New Year party in Mumbai this time as the civic body has imposed a night curfew (11 pm to 6 am) up to 5th January 2021. The Uddhav Thackeray government has appealed that children below the age of 10 and elderly citizens older than 60 years of age must avoid venturing out of the home on New Year's eve. There is no permission for holding religious or cultural rallies/programmes will be granted.
About 35,000 Mumbai Police personnel will be keeping vigil on the law and order situation in Maximum City. No violations of COVID-19 safety norms will be allowed. As per night curfew restrictions, restaurants, pubs and other recreational establishments will have to down their shutters by 11 pm sharp. Strict actions will be taken against restaurants and establishments that fail to shut shop by 11 pm on 31st December 2020. However, there will be no restrictions to Mumbaikars visiting towards their favourite spots in the city such as the Gateway of India, Marine Drive, Girgaum Chowpatty, Juhu, Gorai and Madh Island area in the evening, but COVID-1 norms of social distancing, mask and not more than 4 persons in a group will be applicable. No crowding will be allowed at these places.
No parties will be allowed to be held on terraces and boats, organisers will be punished for violations. No eve-teasing, no drunken-driving, no harassment will be allowed. Police are also on the alert against terror threats to Mumbai. There will be no change in the Standard Operating Procedures for restaurants in Mumbai.
Similarly, there will be restrictions in the national capital too. Delhi Police have warned against any public events or terrace parties being held on New Year's Eve. No function without proper police permission will be considered legal and organisers will face a penalty, police have warned. The Delhi Police will issue detailed guidelines for 31st December 2020 today for New Year Eve parties. However, in Delhi NCR (National Capital Region) such as Ghaziabad-Noida (UP), Faridabad-Gurgaon (Haryana) rules can vary as per their respective state jurisdiction.
No more than 100 persons would be allowed at a venue for New Year’s Eve parties this year in Noida, the district administration and police department have said. Besides, owners of all hotels, restaurants and clubs organising parties and events in Gautam Budh Nagar on December 31 would have to obtain permissions from the district magistrate or commissioner of police (CP) before doing so, as well as intimate the number of guests expected.
The Uttar Pradesh State government directs that only 50% of the capacity of a closed venue, up to 100 persons, will be allowed at a time. The maximum limit for the open spaces, meanwhile, will be 40% of total capacity, with all other arrangements like thermal scanning, sanitization, masking, social distancing, etc., will need to be in place,” said Commissioner of Police Alok Singh.
The Karnataka government has said night curfew will be in force between 11 pm and 5 am from December 24 till January 1. In Karnataka’s capital Bengaluru, all preventive and precautionary measures to contain the spread of Covid-19 will remain in force, said the city police. Gathering of more than four people in public spaces has been banned. However, families can have their own NYE arrangements but no public events will be allowed. Building societies and clubs have been asked to not allow assembly of more than 4 people, no public celebration.
Hotels, malls, restaurants, clubs etc may carry on the regular activity but there will be no permission for special events like DJ, parties, events, shows, programmes, musical nights etc. allowed. No rush at hotels, restaurants will be allowed, only advance booking with e-tokens has been permitted. The notified areas' local area jurisdictional Deputy Commissioner of Police will be responsible for guest movement and reservation SOPs being followed.
The Cyberabad police have issued strict orders over rules to follow on 31st December 2020. The city police have instructed that all new year events should be organised between 8 pm on December 31 to 1 am on January 1. The Outer Ring Road (ORR) will be closed from 10 pm on December 31 to 5 am of January 1, except for passengers bound to and from the airport.
Police have warned all star hotels, resorts and farmhouses of strict action if any violation is reported. Cyberabad police commissioner VC Sajjanar warns that no new year events should be organised without prior permission of the police.
Chennai (Tamil Nadu)
Public celebrations in restaurant, clubs, pubs, resorts, beach resorts, beaches have been banned across Tamil Nadu on both December 31 and January 1. However, there is no curfew in Tamil Nadu. Restaurants, pub, clubs and resorts will remain open and function normally adhering to Covid-19 guidelines. Resorts located along Chennai's East Coast Road (ECR) and Old Mahabalipuram Road (OMR) - the two main highways in Chennai connecting several neighbourhoods, will not be allowed to organise New Year's Eve parties owing to COVID-19 pandemic related restrictions.
Guests staying at resorts along ECR OR OMR will be allowed to take these routes only until 10 pm on December 31, provided they provide a valid ID proof. No parties allowed on beaches, farmhouses and hotels/clubs.
The Rajasthan government has imposed a night curfew on December 31 in all cities having a population of over one lakh. The restrictions will remain in place from 8 pm on December 31 to 6 am on January 1, according to an order issued by the Home Department. No New Year party will be organised on the occasion while bursting of firecrackers will be banned. According to the order, markets will be closed at 7 pm.
The Uttarakhand govt has banned collective celebrations like parties at hotels, bars, restaurants and other public places on New Year's Eve and New Year to stop the spread of COVID-19. Any violation of the ban will be punishable under the Disaster Management Act, 2005, the Epidemic Diseases Act and other relevant sections of the IPC, said an order issued by Dehradun District Magistrate Ashish Shrivastava. The ban will have its effect in Dehradun, Mussoorie and Rishikesh where a large number of tourists come to celebrate Christmas and New Year.
Kolkata (West Bengal)
The Kolkata authorities have issued similar rules for New Year revelries. In the wake of ongoing protests against the three farm laws, public functions on New Year's Eve have been themed on the farmers’ agitation while others on the anti-CAA protests. However, the Centre’s Standard COVID-19 safety protocols will remain fully in place.