Maharashtra announces SOPs for New Year celebrations

Maharashtra state government released SOPs on Monday i.e. December 28, 2020 which are to be followed on New Year’s Eve due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The Maharashtra state government released a list of Standard Operating procedures (SOPs) on Monday i.e., December 28, 2020. These SOPs are to be followed on New Year’s Eve due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Officials also announced these SOPs due to a new UK coronavirus strain found to be more potent and infectious.

Maharashtra government yesterday, released SOPs and advised people to not step out of their homes for New Year celebrations. It had previously imposed a night curfew from 11:00pm to 6:00am to be followed on December 31 as well. There shall be no exceptions to this curfew apart from the essential services listed by the authorities.

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State government also issued a circular appealing people to welcome the New Year within the comfort of their homes. It further advised citizens to not visit seashores, gardens and roads on December 31. However, the state shall not impose any day curfew.

The state government specifically mentioned that children below the age of 10 and senior citizenry above the age of 60 must not venture out on New Year’s. Furthermore, no religious and cultural programmes shall be permitted on this day. Also, people visiting religious places on the first day of the year need to follow all COVID-19 specific social-distancing protocols.

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Authorities have also requested Mumbaikars to avoid crowding in the dream city’s popular places. These places include the Gateway of India, Marine Lines, Juhu Chowpatty and Girgaun Chowpatty. Government has also asked citizens to refrain from bursting crackers not only in the wake of COVID-19 but also to curb air and noise pollution.

Earlier this month, Maharashtra government imposed a night curfew in the state till January 5, 2021. The primary intention behind this was to minimise the risk of COVID-19 spreading during New Year’s Eve. The decision also comes at a time when the UK has reported a new COVID-19 variant which spreads at an alarming rate. Many UK returnees have recently tested positive in India. However, officials suspect that these patients must be carrying the new contagious variant.