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In A Surprise U-Turn, Karnataka Government Withdraws Night Curfew A Day After It Is Announced

Night Crewfew
Ashwin Kumar from Bangalore, India, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Amid global fears of the new coronavirus strain found in the United Kingdom, the Karnataka government on Thursday withdrew the night curfew they had announced a day earlier. In a statement, Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa said he held a meeting with officials and ministers following public outcry and decided to withdraw the order. 

This announcement has marked the second U-turn in three days - on Tuesday Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa said "there is no need for it" and on Wednesday he said it would be imposed "in view of the new strain of coronavirus". He urged citizens to impose self-restraint by wearing face masks and maintaining social distancing. He asked citizens to avoid “unnecessary” travel and strictly follow Covid-19 regulations of the government to prevent further spread of the virus. 

Karnataka was to have a statewide night curfew starting Thursday from 11 pm to 5 am. This was to end on the dawn of January 2nd. The decision evoked mixed responses, which led to the subsequent withdrawal of the curfew. 

All passengers who arrive in Karnataka from any country without a COVID-19 negative report will have to undergo mandatory tests, according to a circular issued by the state government. “The returnees should have a COVID-19 negative certificate issued within 72 hours from the time of departure. Otherwise, they will be mandatorily subjected to an RT-PCR test for COVID-19 at Bengaluru International Airport. Mangaluru International Airport, Mangaluru seaport and Karwar seaport,” stated the circular. 

Leader of the Opposition Siddaramaiah said the decision to impose a night curfew itself was amusing. “Except for private vehicles, the government allowed buses, taxis and autos to ply. This is the decision of a mad government.”

Maharashtra was the first to announce a night curfew after news of the mutant, with the curfew timings being 11 pm to 6 am.