2020 won’t end with a bang: BMC hints New Year celebrations to be a low-key affair due to pandemic

If you are planning a grand celebration or party with your loved ones on New Year’s Eve, do not be in a hurry but wait. It is going to be a low-key affair due to the present coronavirus crisis. The BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) on Saturday hinted that large gatherings and crowding in public places and at clubs, hotels, pubs and permit rooms will be prohibited to contain the spread of coronavirus.

The civic body also indicated that there will be curbs on holding gala events especially parties and get-together or public concerts as crowding may lead to a spurt in infection and a rise in the number of Covid-19 cases.

BMC Additional Municipal Commissioner Suresh Kakani told the Free Press Journal, “Even though the number of coronavirus cases and deaths are reducing in Mumbai, the virus still exists, and all the necessary precautions need to be taken to avoid a spurt in infection. BMC will meet on December 20 and put in place guidelines for the 31st December celebrations.’’

He said the citizens will have to strictly follow social distancing, wear masks and use sanitizers but they will have to avoid gathering in large numbers.

Another civic body officer said BMC will put restrictions on organising parties and dinners at hotels, clubs, permit rooms, and pubs. “BMC has already started taking action against hotels and pubs who are flouting the safety guidelines issued by it and the government while allowing them to reopen their operations. They may be allowed low-key celebrations while events at the roadsides or on the open spaces will not be permitted,’’ he said.

Further, BMC may permit small gatherings at private places but the participants will have to follow social distancing, wear face masks and use sanitizer. The officer recalled that religious events like Ganapati, Eid, Navratri, and Diwali were celebrated in a simple manner without crowding.

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