Bhubaneswar: With the improvement in Covid-19 situation and further unlocking the economic activities, the State Government has allowed conduct of all kind of cultural events in the State from today (November 20). However, some restrictions are there to check further spread of the virus.
Special Relief Commissioner and Additional Chief Secretary (ACS) Disaster Management, Pradeep Kumar Jena has issued an order in this regard.
With a view to protecting the health of the public and preventing spread of Covid-19 along with normalising the economic activities, stipulations/ instructions for graded unlocking, the cultural activities are allowed with effect from 20th November, 2021, the SRC said in the order.
Cultural gatherings/ programs including melodies, orchestra/ jatra/ opera, dances-classical, folk and other permitted dance forms, cultural competitions, open air theatres/ drama/ nukkad natak/ street plays/ other such performances etc have been allowed to open with due compliance to Covid protocols, Mr.Jena said.
Auditoriums, assembly halls and similar facilities are allowed to open with due compliance to Covid protocols.
Local authorities (District Magistrate/SP/ Municipal Commissioner or any other officer authorized) will give permission for the open air theatres/ Jatras /operas, subject to compliance of COVID-19 safety protocols such as mandatory wearing of face masks, physical distancing, provision of thermal scanning, etc.
Keeping the size of the ground/ space in view, maximum 2000 persons will be allowed ensuring maintenance of prescribed physical distancing norm i.e., maintaining a distance of 6 feet from each other and the seating arrangement shall be made accordingly.
As far as possible, the organizers will have to make facilities for online booking of tickets or open a sufficient number of counters to prevent crowding during physical booking of tickets, the SRC said.
Facility of advance booking online as well as through counters may also be organized. For indoor halls, the numbers of viewers/ spectators shall not exceed 50 per cent of the seating capacity of the hall.
As per the order, cinema halls, theatres have been allowed to open with up to 50 per cent of capacity and operate with due compliance to Covid protocols. In closed places, the number of persons including the invitees shall not exceed 50 per cent of the hall capacity.
The person having double dose/final vaccination certificate and Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) (-ve)/ RT PCR (-ve) report obtained within 72 hours prior to the function will be allowed to attend the function.
The organiser of the function will ensure adherence of COVID-19 safety protocols such as wearing of masks, maintaining social distancing of at least six(6) feet between participants and provision of thermal scanning & use of hand wash or sanitizer will be mandatory.
Persons with symptoms of Influenza Like Infection (ILI) and Severe Acute Respiratory Infection (SARI) will not be allowed to the function.
Vulnerable groups of people, such as persons above 65 years of age, persons with co-morbidities and pregnant women are advised not to attend the function. Chewing of gutka and pawns and spitting in the function is strictly prohibited at such places.
Cleaning and disinfection of frequently touched surfaces(door knobs/handles, hand rails, slides, chairs, tabletops, benches, washroom fixtures, floors/ walls shall be ensured by the organizers.
The organizers will have to ensure deep cleaning of all drinking/ hand washing points/ wash rooms, lavatories.
The organiser of the function will also ensure elaborate arrangement for hand washing with soap and water and also ensure availability of hand sanitizers.
However, permission for such activities will be accorded by the respective District Magistrates, SPs, Municipal Commissioners, Police Commissioner (Bhubaneswar-Cuttack) or other officers authorised by them.
The District Collector, SP, Municipal Commissioner and Police Commissioner, can further restrict the number of persons to be allowed in such functions/ gatherings keeping the local situation in mind in the interest of the health of the people and issue specific orders in that regard.
Any person violating the measures notified in the above order will be liable to be proceeded against as per the provisions Disaster Management Act, 2005, and COVID-19 Regulations 2020, besides legal action under Sec. 188 of the IPC, and other legal provisions as applicable, warned Mr.Jena.