There will be no fresh lockdown in the state but several new restrictions, the Maha Vikas Aghadi government has announced. The additional curbs have been imposed with the twin objectives of allowing economic activities to go on uninterrupted and simultaneously curb the virus infection, by controlling gatherings. Further, the government has not clamped prohibitory orders or night or weekend curfews but has introduced curbs on the movement of people. No movement of people in groups of 5 or more will be allowed from 5 am to 11pm and from 11pm to 5 am, except for essential purposes.
Chief Secretary Debashish Chakrabarty issued a fresh order on Saturday, which will come into effect from the midnight of January 10 and will remain in force until further orders. The order issued on Saturday will be applicable for the entire state of Maharashtra, including Mumbai.
The maximum attendance during weddings and social, religious, cultural and political gatherings has been restricted to 50 and for funerals, this number is capped at 20. Schools and colleges will remain closed till February 15, except for administrative and procedural activities.
Swimming pools, gyms, spas, wellness centres and beauty salons will remain shut while haircutting salons can operate at 50 per cent capacity. These salons will be closed from 10pm to 7am every day and in case of any set-up with multiple activities, other activities shall remain closed. They will have to strictly adhere to Covid- appropriate behaviour and all workers must be fully vaccinated.
Shopping malls, market complexes, restaurants and eateries will have restricted entry as they will operate at 50 per cent capacity. They will be closed from 10pm to 8am every day. They will have to display information about full capacity and the current number of visitors on a display board outside the establishment, for the information of all visitors.
Managements will appoint marshals to ensure the strict observance of CAB by all visitors and staff while there will be rapid antigen testing (RAT) booths/ kiosks and only fully vaccinated persons will be allowed.
The government expects the management of private offices to rationalise the number of employees through work from home and the staggering of working hours. “It is advised that not more than 50 per cent of regular attendance be reached and for this, managements may consider flexible hours for employees as well as keeping offices open for 24 hours and working in shifts. Travel for office purposes, if the office has staggered timings and is working at odd hours, is to be considered as movement for essential purposes on production of ID cards by employees. The safety and convenience of women employees must be taken into account,” said the order.
In case of government offices, there will be rationalisation of employees present during office hours by promoting work from home and staggering working hours, on need basis, as adjudged by heads of departments. The heads may consider flexible hours for employees. Further, no visitors except with explicit ad written permission of the heads of offices will be allowed.
The government expects online interactions through video-calling (VC) for citizens to be enabled by heads of offices and there will be VC meetings for all attendees coming from outside headquarters.
All sporting, competitive events will be deferred except for those national and international competitions already scheduled. Entertainment parks, zoos, museums, forts and other ticketed places and events for the public will remain shut. As far as local tourist sports are concerned, district disaster management authorities will declare such spots for their respective jurisdictions.
Drama and cinema theatres will operate at 50 per cent capacity.
According to the order, international travel will continue as per Government of India guidelines. In case of domestic travel, double vaccination or mandatory negative RT-PCR test report valid from up to 72 hours of the time of arrival into the state will be mandatory. This shall apply to air, train and road passengers. This will also apply to drivers, cleaners and other support staff who are travelling.
Cargo transport, industrial and construction activities will continue, to be entirely carried out by fully vaccinated people. Public transport at regular timings will only be for those fully vaccinated.
All competitive exams, including UPSC/MPSC/Statutory Authorities/Public Institutions at the national level shall be as per the GoI guidelines. Halltickets for these exams shall be valid documents to prove essential purpose for movement. All competitive exams being held at the state level, where hall tickets have been already issued and exam dates notified, shall be conducted as notified. All further exams shall be conducted only after the sanction of the state disaster management authority.