U'khand tightens restrictions in view of COVID surge

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Dehradun, Apr 21 (PTI) Night curfew in Uttarakhand will now begin at 7 pm instead of 9 pm and will continue till 5 am, officials said on Wednesday.

The Uttarakhand government has also ordered the closure of markets in urban areas barring shops dealing in essential commodities from 2 pm onwards.

The order aimed at checking the spread of COVID-19 comes into effect from Wednesday, Chief Secretary Om Prakash said.

'The night curfew timing for all 13 districts has been revised from 9 pm-5 am to 7 pm-5 am,' it said.

The order of closing shops and business establishments also applies to shopping malls, he said.

Considering the likelihood of people from Uttarakhand working in Delhi returning home in the wake of a six-day lockdown in the national capital, online registration and a negative RT-PCR test report not older than 72 hours has been made mandatory for the returnees.

All schools, degree colleges, institutes and coaching centres have been closed. The revised standard operating procedures (SOPs) also makes it mandatory for all modes of public transport, including buses and auto rickshaws, besides facilities like cinema halls, restaurants, bars and gyms to run at half their seating capacity.

According to the new SOPs, not more than 100 people can gather for religious, political and social functions barring the ongoing Kumbh Mela where the restrictions announced earlier will remain effective.

It orders complete closure of swimming pools and spas in all districts. Organising religious, political and social functions will be completely prohibited in containment and micro containment zones. Uttarakhand reported its highest number of COVID-19 cases in a day on Tuesday with 3,012 people testing positive for the infection. PTI ALM KJ