With New Year’s Eve and Christmas around the corner, people have started moving for their celebration plans. However, the scare of Covid’s Omicron variant is now casting a shadow on both the events with several state governments announcing curbs to contain the spread of the super-mutant.
The Omicron variant has rapidly spread to 106 countries in less than a month from its discovery and India too is experiencing a surge in cases. 213 cases have been reported in the country so far with numbers most likely to increase in the days to come.
Keep this in mind, the Delhi government on Wednesday announced a complete ban on all events and gatherings to celebrate Christmas and New Year. Similarly, in Mumbai, it will mandatory for party organizers to have written permission from authorities if more than 200 people are invited.
Aam Aadmi Party (AAP)-led Delhi government has banned all events and gatherings to celebrate Christmas and New Year. The Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) directed district magistrates to ensure no Christmas and New Year gathering takes place in the national capital.
Additionally, all social, political, sports, entertainment, cultural, religious, festival-related gatherings and congregations are prohibited throughout the NCT of Delhi.
Maharashtra, which has recorded the highest number of Omicron cases so far, has imposed section 144 in Mumbai till December 31. The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has issued fresh guidelines in the coastal city which said that people (up to 50 percent capacity) are allowed in closed spaces while 25 percent capacity is allowed in open spaces.
It is also mandatory for party organizers to get written permission from authorities if more than 200 people are invited to an event.
In view of rising cases of Coronavirus and a possible threat of Omicron surge, the Uttar Pradesh government has announced a state-wide night curfew starting from December 25. The curfew will be in place from 11 pm to 5 am.
Issuing fresh guidelines, the state government also said that not more than 200 people will be allowed in weddings till further notice.
Meanwhile, a number of churches in Uttar Pradesh have restricted the midnight mass for invitees only. The celebrations have been called off at other public places to avoid mass gatherings.
Several clubs and hotels in various parts of the state have also decided not to organise a New Year bash, while malls and a few hotels will go ahead with restricted celebrations in compliance with Covid protocols.
The Karnataka government has also imposed restrictions on Christmas and New Year celebrations.
Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai on Tuesday said that the new year celebrations at all public places will take place in a restricted manner. He also said that all restaurants will be allowed to operate on 50 percent seating capacity and mandatory full vaccination conditions.
No special events, Disk Jockeys (DJ) will be allowed during the celebrations. The new curbs will be in effect from December 30 till January 2.
Even the Madhya Pradesh government has announced a return of night curfew in the state from 11 pm till 5 am from December 24 midnight as a precautionary measure and has advised people to strictly follow Covid guidelines.
So far, no cases of the Omicron variant have been detected in Madhya Pradesh. The state government has said that it will take some more measures in case of Coronavirus surge.
The Haryana government has made it mandatory for people to be fully vaccinated in order to go to public places such as malls, restaurants, banks, and offices from January 1, 2022.
Only fully vaccinated persons will be allowed to travel from bus stands & railway stations.
The Gujarat government has also imposed a night curfew in as many as 8 major cities till December 31. The night curfew will be in place from 1 am till 5 am.
These eight cities are Ahmedabad, Gandhinagar, Surat, Rajkot, Vadodara, Bhavnagar, Jamnagar, and Junagarh.
In view of the current Covid situation, the Odisha government has also restricted the Christmas and New Year celebrations.
The restrictions will come into effect from December 25 till January 2. Social gatherings, rallies, orchestras, celebrations in hotels, clubs, restaurants, parks, etc will be banned across the state during this period.