21 Dec 2020: Maharashtra orders night curfew amid concerns over new coronavirus strain
Maharashtra on Monday decided to impose a two-week night curfew in all the municipal areas starting Tuesday night.
The decision comes after Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray held a meeting with senior state government officials and police officers earlier in the day.
Recent concerns over a new strain of the coronavirus have led authorities to impose fresh restrictions.
Here are more details.
Details: Night curfew from 11 pm to 6 am
The night curfew will be imposed from 11 pm-6 am until January 5.
Essential services such as medical stores will be exempt.
Passengers returning from Europe and the Middle East will also be quarantined for 14 days after landing in Maharashtra.
"We have to be more vigilant for the coming 15 days," Thackeray said, referring to the new viral strain.
Recent news: Just yesterday, Thackeray had said no to curfews, lockdowns
Thackeray had said on Sunday that he was opposed to a night curfew or lockdown as the COVID-19 situation was under control.
He had said that wearing a mask would be mandatory at least for the next six months even if the vaccine against coronavirus becomes available.
Ahead of Christmas and New Year celebrations, he also urged people to be cautious.
Fact: India-UK flights suspended till December 31
Earlier on Monday, the central government had decided to suspend all flights to and from the United Kingdom till December 31 in light of the emergence of the new strain of the virus. Inbound passengers will also face RT-PCR testing and quarantines.
New strain: New strain 70% more infectious, say UK authorities
The UK has reported a mutated strain of the coronavirus, which authorities say is as much as 70% more infectious.
Experts argue that more studies are needed to see if the claim of the new strain being more transmissible holds water.
Citing rising infections in and around London, the UK has imposed the most stringent lockdown since March.