Maharashtra on Wednesday, 21 April, announced a series of stricter restrictions to combat the alarming surge in COVID cases. These curbs will come into effect from 8 pm on Thursday and will remain in force till 7 am on 1 May.
On Wednesday, the state reported 568 COVID-19 deaths registering its highest ever single-day fatality count. It also logged 67,468 new cases in the past 24 hours.
What’s allowed and what’s curbed under these restrictions?
Will offices be allowed to open?
The new curbs allow no more than 15 percent attendance at government and private offices. Emergency services that are directly involved in the management of the pandemic will be exempted from these restrictions.
Offices providing essential services should work at the “lowest required capacity”, but can have no more than 50 percent of their workforce present at any given time. Attendance of people delivering these services should be minimised but this can be increased to 100 percent, if needed.
Can weddings be held?
Yes, weddings are permitted under the new restrictions, but the number of guests must be capped at 25 and the duration of such functions will be limited to a maximum of two hours.
What’s the penalty for violating this rule?
Rs 50,000 will be imposed as penalty on any family found flouting the rule and any place involved will be closed till COVID-19 remains notified as a disaster.
What private modes of transport are allowed?
Private buses will be allowed to run with 50 percent seating capacity, with no commuter standing. Meanwhile, private vehicles, excluding buses, will be only allowed in emergency situations with 50 percent seating capacity.
People travelling without a valid reason will be penalized Rs 10,000.
What if I want to travel inter-city by a private bus?
For inter-city and inter-district travel by private buses, the stoppage points must be restricted to two in a city and the local Disaster Management Authority (DMA) must be informed. Passengers will be stamped on their hands by the bus operator where they alight and will need to to home quarantine for 14 days.
What checking measures will be followed?
Passengers will be subject to thermal screening and moved to COVID centre/hospital if they have symptoms. Local DMA will decide if a rapid antigen test will be conducted at any point. Cost of the test will have to be borne by the passenger or bus operator.
What’s the penalty for violating this?
Service operators violating these rules can be fined up to Rs 10,000, with repeated defaults leading to cancellation of licence till the end of the pandemic.
Will public transport modes be allowed to operate?
Yes, public transport will function, but will be reserved for use by government personnel, medical professionals or those in need of medical treatment. Government-owned public transport will run at 50 percent capacity, with no passengers standing.
What about inter-city travel by a public bus?
For inter-district and inter-city travel by public transport, passengers will be stamped on their hands where they alight and will be required to home quarantine for 14 days. They will also be subject to thermal screening and local DMA will decide if a rapid antigen test needs to be conducted at any point.
. Read more on COVID-19 by The Quint.Maha Goes Under New COVID Curbs Today: What’s Allowed, What’s Not?Go For Rainwater Harvest, Not River Interlinkage: Himanshu Thakkar . Read more on COVID-19 by The Quint.