Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray-led Maharashtra government on Monday released new guidelines amid a massive COVID-19 spike in the state.
According to the new guidelines, no social, cultural, political or religious gathering will be allowed. "Violation shall also attract penalties under the disaster act for the owner of premises," it read.
Not more than 50 people will be allowed to be present for weddings and not more than 20 people will be allowed to be present for last rites, said the guidelines.
Cinema halls, hotels and restaurants will operate at 50 per cent capacity. "No entry will be allowed without masks. Concerned establishments to ensure presence of enough manpower to enforce wearing of masks as well as maintaining social distances by all visitors at all times," it read.
The government also advised work from home. "All offices except related to health and other essential services shall work with 50 per cent attendance. "Any office found to be violating shall be closed as a period until the COVID-19 pandemic stays notified as a Disaster by the Central Government," it further read.
Meanwhile, Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope on Monday said fresh lockdown is no answer to the rising COVID-19 cases in the state, but restrictions will be made stricter.
Though the number of cases has seen a rise in the last few days, the mortality rate remains low, he noted.
"Lockdown is not an option but restrictions will be made more strict," Tope told reporters. As much as 85 per cent of new patients are asymptomatic and hence most of them have been advised home quarantine, he added.
"Tracking, testing and treatment is being followed. The number of tests has also been increased. Weddings and social gatherings are being restricted," he said.
"People should also observe self-discipline by ensuring physical distancing, wearing face masks and washing hands regularly. Follow rules to avoid new lockdown," the minister said.
Vaccination drive in the state is also picking up and over one lakh persons are being given the dose daily, Tope said. "There is no shortage of vaccines. All senior citizens should get vaccinated at the earliest," he said.