Bhubaneswar: With the increase in Covid-19 including Omicron cases, the State Government has imposed additional restrictions to control further spread of the virus in the State.
Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) PK Jena has announced the new guidelines of the State Government that will come into effect from 5 AM of January 7 and continue till 5 AM of February 1, 2022.
All schools, colleges up to Class XII will remain closed. However, all such educational institutions are encouraged to organize online video methods of teaching & learning for Class-X & XII students, he said.
The educational institution can organize doubt clearing classes in small batches with consent of parents by observing due COVID protocols. All examinations including Summative Examinations will continue, Jena said.
All Anganwadi Centres will also remain closed. The concerned Administrative departments will issue detailed guidelines/ SOP in this regard.
Night Curfew will be imposed in all urban areas of the State from 9 PM to 5 AM every day. There shall be no movement of vehicles except for exigencies on production of proper evidence, he said.
All types of shops, malls and shopping complexes will remain open across the State from 5 AM to 9 PM everyday. Malls and shopping complexes will have to operate with a reduced number of customers. The mall owner will have to ensure that persons entering malls are thoroughly screened for temperature, correct use of masks and physical distancing, said the SRC.
Food court and food plaza will also remain open for take away only. No one will be allowed to take/ consume food in the mall premises. It is the responsibility of the owner/ management of the malls/shopping complexes to ensure that there is no over-crowding at any point of time within the shops and common areas.
Markets/Haats, cinema halls, swimming pools, entertainment complexes, theatres, auditoriums, assembly halls and similar places will be closed by 9 PM every day in the State.
Only doubly vaccinated persons will be allowed to enter market complexes, shops, malls. No point of time more than four buyers will be allowed per 100sq feet of shop space.
Over-crowding inside the shops, Malls, shopping complexes, Markets, Haats Cinema halls, swimming pools, entertainment complexes, theatres, auditoriums, assembly halls and similar places shall not be allowed under any circumstances.
It is the responsibility of the mall authorities, shop owner (s) or Market Associations to ensure that COVID appropriate behaviour are followed strictly by himself/herself, and the customers.
The owner will have to make arrangement by deploying his/her staff to prevent crowding by customers inside and outside the shop/ mall. Proper social distancing demarcations in and outside shop will be displayed by the shop owner and COVID appropriate social distancing shall be ensured by him/her.
In case of violation, the local authorities can take strict action including criminal action under relevant Acts including Disaster Management Act, 2005, warned Jena.
Such violation will entail sealing of such shops/ shopping complexes/ malls at least a period of 7 days or more along with heavy penalty as decided by the local authorities, he informed.
All social, religious gatherings will remain prohibited. Large gatherings, congregations have been prohibited. Political, sports, academic functions and gatherings will be allowed with a ceiling of 100 persons subject to certain conditions.
In closed spaces, a maximum of 50% of the hall capacity will be allowed subject to the above ceiling. In open spaces, keeping the size of the ground/ open space in view, appropriate number of persons will be allowed, within the ceiling prescribed above, so as to ensure maintenance of prescribed physical distancing norms.
Permission for such functions/ gatherings shall be accorded by the respective District Magistrates/ Municipal Commissioners or other officers authorised by them.
Political gatherings/ meetings, rallies and particularly for any election to be announced by the appropriate Election Commission would be limited to not more than 100 persons with full compliance to COVID protocols.
“No rallies, processions, demonstrations, dharanas, strikes of any sort will be allowed except for individuals not exceeding 5 persons coming to handover petitions/memorandum, if any,” read the order issued by the SRC.
Similarly, exhibitions, trade fairs, expo and melas have also been prohibited in the State. Physical Business to Business meetings are also prohibited. However, such activities may be taken up in virtual mode, said the order.
“No picnic in parks, nature clubs, beaches and other picnic/tourist spots shall be allowed. No cultural and dance programmes of any sort shall be organized in hotels, parks, malls, convention centres and Kalyan Mandaps,” it said.
No educational institutions can organize excursions or Picnics till end of January 2022. Annual Day celebration/ anniversary of any sort in the pretext of any reason will also not be allowed in any public places, hotels, clubs, Kalyan Mandaps, parks, grounds, etc..
Such celebration will be observed only in own houses with participation of limited family members only, clarified the SRC.
Religious rituals in temples/ churches/ Mosques/ places of worship will be permitted with limited number of priests and staff adhering to Covid safety protocols.
As regards to entry of devotees into such religious places, Local Authority i.e., District Magistrate/ Municipal Commissioner may, looking into the prevailing situation in the district and in consultation with relevant stakeholders ,impose any further restrictions as deemed proper.
Haats and Markets including fish markets shall be decentralized and allowed to operate with minimum 30 feet distance from shop to shop.
The shopkeepers and the buyers shall mandatorily abide by the Covid safety protocols. Any violation of COVID-19 protocols will attract closure/ sealing/ cancellation of license of the concerned shops, he added.
Hotels/ Restaurants/ dhabas/ Bars/ Pubs are allowed for dine in up to 50 per cent of the seating capacity with compliance of COVID-19 safety protocols till 9 PM.
All Hotels, Restaurant, Bars, Pubs and Food joints shall close by 9 PM. All street vendors/ food vendors will have to adhere to Covid protocols like social distancing and use of mask.
Any deviation / non-compliance shall entail criminal action and penalty as per law and may make such unit(s) liable for sealing/ closure for not less than 7 days and suspension/ cancellation of trade license & penalty.
At no point of time more than 5 customers shall be allowed to gather in front of such vendors with due social distancing. It shall be the responsibility of the vendors to ensure full compliance of COVID appropriate behaviors by him/ herself/staff/ customers.
All Gymnasiums/ Spas/ beauty parlour/barber shops/ saloons shall be allowed to open subject to time schedule with full compliance to COVID protocols. Any violation shall entail closure / sealing for not less 7 days along with heavy penalty by police/ District Magistrates/Municipal Commissioners.
In public transport like buses, private vehicles and taxis (including cabs by aggregators like Ola, Uber, etc.), the conductor/ drivers shall ensure that all passengers including driver & staff put on mask during the entire period of their travel/ journey. The owner of the vehicle shall make arrangement for thermal scanning and sanitizer/ hand washing for the passengers before allowing them to enter into the vehicle.
Cultural gatherings/ programmes 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 shall be allowed to open with due compliance to Covid protocols with permission in writing from appropriate authorities.
Auditoriums/ assembly halls/ similar facilities shall be allowed to open up to 50% of capacity with due compliance to Covid protocols.
Open Air Theatres / Jatras /Operas shall be permitted by the local authorities 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, appropriate number of persons (subject to a ceiling of 1000 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, facility for online booking of tickets may be arranged by the organizers and sufficient number of counters shall be opened to prevent crowding during physical booking of tickets.
Facility of advance booking online as well as through counters may also be organized. The organizers shall be responsible for due compliance of these norms/ conditions.
For indoor halls the numbers of viewers/ spectators shall not exceed 50% of the seating capacity of the hall.
Cinema halls, theatres, multiplexes, in closed places shall be allowed to open with up to 50% of capacity and operate with due compliance to Covid protocols. Public parks are allowed to remain open subject to strict observance of Covid-19 safety protocols with compulsory mask use and social distancing.
The park authority shall regularly inspect and enforce COVID appropriate protocol. In case of violation, park authorities may order closure of such parks where it is not possible to enforce COVID appropriate behavior.
Zoological Parks/ Nandan Kanan Zoo/ Botanical Garden shall be allowed to open with due compliance to covid protocols. However, online booking tickets for entry into Zoo/ Botanical Garden are mandatory.
Visit to archeological/ historical monuments owned by Govt. shall be allowed to open with due compliance to Covid protocols. However, online booking tickets for entry into these places are mandatory.
All official meetings/ training etc. shall be allowed with participation of maximum 100 persons only with prior written approval of the Collector/ Municipal Commissioner and Official programmes for inauguration/ laying of foundation stone etc. shall be allowed with participation of maximum 50 persons adhering to COVID- 19 protocols.
Virtual/ online meetings & training shall be encouraged. No cultural/ entertainment programmes are allowed.
Indoor & outdoor film shooting/ TV serial related shooting shall be allowed across the State observing COVID protocol. However, in closed places, the number of persons in the shooting shall not exceed 50 persons with full compliance to COVID protocols.
Marriages, thread Ceremony/ Bratopanayan, and related gatherings with approval from local authorities will be allowed with a ceiling of 100 persons (for the entire event) including hosts, guests, priests and catering and other support staff with adherence to Covid-19 safety protocols.
Marriage function means marriage and one reception only. All other events/ activities related to such functions shall be organized in houses with family members only. No outside guest shall be allowed to participate in such associated functions.
Funerals, last rites and related gatherings with approval from local authorities shall be allowed with a ceiling of 50 persons.
In closed spaces, subject to the above ceilings such number of persons shall be allowed as would be feasible to follow Covid protocols. In closed places, the number of persons including the invitees shall be allowed up to 50% of the hall capacity with a ceiling of 100 persons. (iii)In open spaces, keeping the size of the ground/ open space in view, an appropriate number of persons will be allowed, subject to the above ceilings, so as to ensure maintenance of prescribed physical distancing norms.
Marriage processions shall be allowed with due prior written approval from competent authorities subject to the ceiling 30 participants including bridegroom, priest, friends, relatives, guests, members of band party, light & sound systems etc. The number of persons in the marriage procession shall count towards the above said ceiling of 100 persons.
While observing religious festivals/ festivities/ functions, rituals shall be allowed with strict observance of COVID protocols. However, no large gathering shall be permitted.
On arrival at Bhubaneswar and Jharsuguda airports, random RTPCR testing will be undertaken for passengers who shall cooperate with the testing team. The passengers found to be symptomatic during screening shall be immediately isolated and taken to a medical facility as per health protocol.
All District Magistrates, SPs, Municipal Commissioners and Police Commissioner have been asked to strictly enforce the above measures.
All offices (excluding Health & FW/ Police/ Fire Services/ Disaster Management and such other services dealing with emergency services) under the control and superintendence of Govt. of Odisha , Public undertakings/ corporations/ Societies/ Autonomous Bodies shall operate with 50% of the staff. However, GA & PG Department shall issue detailed guidelines/ SOP regarding attendance of officers & staff.