Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Thursday, 15 April, announced that Delhi would go under a weekend curfew from Friday night till Monday morning amid a surge in COVID cases.
The chief minister said that this decision, along with several other restrictive measures, had been taken at a meeting with Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal on Thursday. The prohibition or restriction of the various activities will be in force till 30 April or further orders, whichever is earlier.
On Wednesday, Delhi recorded 17,282 COVID-19 cases, in what is the national capital’s biggest spike since the beginning of the pandemic. So, what’s allowed and what is not as Delhi joins the list of cities with strong curbs due to the coronavirus threat?
When does the weekend curfew begin?
There shall be a weekend curfew in Delhi from 10 pm on Friday, 16 April to 5 am on Monday, 19 April, according to the order by the Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA).
However, individuals associated with several categories have been exempted from the restriction on movement, including:
Government officials, those involved in emergency services, public utility, municipal, transport and incidental services, etc.
Judicial officers/officials of courts of Delhi
All private medical personnel
Pregnant women and patients for getting medical services
People coming from or going to airports, railways stations, bus terminals
Electronic and print media on production of valid ID card
Those working in shops providing essential goods and services; banks, ATMs; telecommunications, internet and broadcasting services; delivery of all essential goods through e-commerce; petrol pumps; private security services; manufacturing units of essential commodities, etc, with e-pass
Those going for COVID-19 vaccination with e-pass
The order also stipulated that there shall be no restriction on inter-state and intra-state movement, transportation of essential and non-essential goods, with no separate permission or e-pass required for this.
Will I be able to go to the mall?
No, malls as well as gyms and spas will be shut in Delhi till 30 April. So will be auditoriums, assembly halls and entertainment parks.
What about restaurants? Can I go out for a meal?
No, restaurants will remain closed for dine-in. However, home delivery will be permitted.
Are movie theatres/cinema halls also shut?
No, cinema halls will be allowed to operate at 30 percent of their capacity till 30 April, CM Kejriwal said.
What do I do for groceries? Will anything be open?
CM Kejriwal has stated that essential services will not be restricted.
He also said that one weekly market per day per zone in the three municipal corporations, New Delhi Municipal Council and the Delhi Cantonment Board will be allowed to operate.
I have a wedding to attend over the weekend. What do I do?
The decision for weekend curfew has been taken keeping in mind the fact that many people have planned weddings at this time, CM Kejriwal said. For this purpose, people attending weddings in Delhi will be issued e-passes to facilitate their movement during the weekend curfew.
The DDMA order states that movement for marriage-related gatherings of up to 50 people and funeral-related gatherings of up to 20 people is allowed during the weekend curfew.
Why have these restrictions been put into place?
“These restrictions are for your sake, for you and you families. It will be inconvenient but these restrictions are necessary to break the chain of transmission,” Kejriwal said.
However, while stating the new rules, CM Kejriwal also reminded the people that there is no shortage of beds in hospitals in Delhi, stating that according to the latest data, more than 5,000 beds are available.
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