Odisha Govt Issues Unlock Guidelines For March; Deets Inside

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Bhubaneswar: With a view to strengthen economic activities and prevent the spread of COVID-19, the Odisha Government on Monday issued fresh guidelines for graded unlocking throughout the state from 5 am of 1st March till 5 am of 31st March 2022.

The Special Relief Commissioner, Odisha, has issued an order today as the duration of graded unlock guidelines for February ended today.

As per the fresh guidelines, there shall be graded unlocking throughout the state with effect from 5 am of 1st March till 5 am of 31st March 2022. Besides, there shall be no Night Curfew across the state.

During unlock period, all activities are allowed to be fully functional with strict adherence to COVID -19 protocols. AII Social, Religious, Political, Sports gatherings are allowed with strict adherence to COVID -19 protocols. Besides, Exhibitions, Trade Fairs, Expo, Melas are allowed with full compliance to COVID protocols.

District Magistrates, Municipal Commissioners, Police Commissioner, Bhubaneswar- Cuttack may restrict congregations or gatherings to such number as may be felt appropriate in view of the prevailing pandemic situation considering /local situations/ space available strictly adhering to the COVID-19 safety protocols. They shall determine the number of participants in such functions with strict adherence to COVID -19 protocols. Wearing of masks, maintaining social distancing, provision of thermal scanning & use of hand wash or sanitizer will be mandatory.

As per the March Guidelines, for Marriages, thread Ceremony, Bratopanayan, and related gatherings shall be allowed with a ceiling of 500 persons (for the entire event) including hosts, guests, priests and catering and other support staff with approval from local authorities and adherence to COVID-19 safety protocols.

In the case of funerals, last rites, and related gatherings a ceiling of 250 persons shall be allowed with approval from local authorities.

The Odisha SRC also mentioned the stipulations for the celebration of several religious functions, pujas, and festivities like “Mahashivratri”, “Dola  Pumima” & “Holi” during March 2022.

The Festival “Mahashivratri”, will be observed/ celebrated as per Revenue and Disaster Management (DM) Department Order No. 1339m &DM(DM) Dt.25.02.2022.

During the celebration of “Dola Pumima”, people shall ensure Covid Appropriate Behaviour such as physical distancing, use of face mask and hand sanitizing, etc. Religious rituals are allowed with strict adherence to COVID-19 protocols,

Collectors and Municipal Commissioners may impose appropriate restrictions if required in “Dola Melans” and they shall also determine the number of participants in these gatherings with strict adherence of Covid appropriate behaviour and norms, the SRC order read.

The SRC ordered that Holi and their related rituals shall not be observed in public places throughout the state. People may celebrate ‘Holi’ with family members in their houses only and not in any public places including public roads. Collectors and Municipal Commissioners may impose any further restrictions as desirable in consideration of local situations.

General Directives for COVID-19 Management:

The following General Directives for COVID-19 Management shall be strictly followed throughout the State:

  1. Face coverings/ Masks: Wearing of face cover/ mask properly is compulsory in public places; in workplaces; and in public transport.
  2. Physical distancing: Individuals must maintain a minimum distance of 6 feet in publie places.
  3. Spitting in public place will be punishable with fine, as prescribed in accordance with laws, rules or regulations.
  4. Same as permitted by the Excise Department, consumption of liquor in public place is prohibited.
  5. Consumption of paan, gutka, tobacco, and similar products in public place is prohibited.

Safety and Protection of vulnerable persons

The following categories of people are advised against outdoor movement, except for essential and health purposes.

  1. persons above 65 years of age
  2. persons with co-morbidities
  3. pregnant women
  4. children below the age of 10 years

Special Powers: District Magistrates & Collectors/ Police Commissioner of Cuttack-Bhubaneswar/ Municipal Commissioners shall scrupulously implement these guidelines and shall take all possible measures to enforce the guidelines. They may impose any additional restrictions as may be felt necessary in the interest of containment of the spread of COVID-19 and to ensure COVID appropriate behavior are followed by all concerned.

Penal provisions:

Any person violating these graded unlocking measures will be liable to be proceeded against as per the provisions of Section 51 to 60 of the Disaster Management Act, 2005, and COVID-19 Regulations 2020, besides legal action under Sec. 188 of the IPC, and other legal provisions as applicable.

In case of any other doubt, the State Government in Revenue &Disaster Management (Disaster Management) Department will issue necessary directions or clarifications, the SRC order further read.

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