The new year begins on Friday. However, this year’s new year’s celebrations have had to take a bit of a back seat due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. While the situation has become slightly better in India, with a fewer number of cases being reported every day, authorities and state administrations of some states have still imposed curfews in order to tackle the new strain of the virus that had first been reported in the United Kingdom in mid-December. The centre and the state governments have issued a fresh set of guidelines for the New Year celebrations. Meanwhile, the MHA has also extended the Unlock guidelines, which will now remain in force till January 31, 2021.
Delhi Disaster Management Authorities have imposed a night curfew from 11 am to 6 pm. There will be no new year celebration events or public gatherings allowed from 11 pm of December 31 to 6 am of January 1 and 11 pm of January 1 and 6 am of January 2.
Similar night curfew timings have been announced in Mumbai as well. Large gatherings have been banned, but there will be no restriction on visiting friends, relatives and public places in groups of four persons. Using face masks and maintaining social distancing remains mandatory.
Bengaluru City Police have issued guidelines wherein not more than four people are allowed to gather in public or open areas. No apartments or societies are allowed to hold celebrations in public spaces.
Chennai, too, has barred large gatherings, especially on beaches and roads. The hugely popular Marina Beach, Elliot's beach and other beaches have been shut. Hotels and bars will have to shut by 10 pm. Puducherry, however, has permitted celebrations on beaches with regular Covid-19 rules.
Authorities have ordered strict implementation of these guidelines; if any rules are violated, strict penalties will be imposed.
The development comes at a time when the state has reported 1,66,239 coronavirus cases, including 5,331 deaths.