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Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Karnataka bans public parties on new year, says no handshakes or hugs

Police commissioners and deputy commissioners have been given the authority to impose more restrictions at places in their jurisdiction to avoid celebrations and social gatherings.

By: Express Web Desk | Bengaluru | Updated: December 19, 2020 9:16:11 am
Church Street in Bengaluru. Earlier, the BBMP had recommended to the government that New Year celebrations be restricted this year. (Express Photo: Darshan Devaiah BP)

In light of Covid-19, the Karnataka government has banned New Year celebrations in clubs, pubs and restaurants. The ban will be in place for four days from December 30 in order to minimise the spread of the disease. However, there are no restrictions on these establishments carrying out normal operations.

In an order issued by Karnataka Chief Secretary T M Vijay Bhaskar Thursday, the government permitted only green crackers during the festivities and urged the public to refrain from giving handshakes and hugs.

“Keeping in mind public health, there is a need to celebrate Christmas and New Year in a simple and meaningful way. In the wake of this, mass parties have been banned across the state at public places, establishments and places where large crowds gather without maintaining social distancing,” the order read.

“From December 30 to January 2, parties, special DJ dance programmes, and special events at clubs, pubs, restaurants, and other places that attract people in large numbers without social distancing have been prohibited,” it added.

The order also said “people should not indulge in hand shakes or hugging during the festivities to avoid the spread of Covid-19.”

The order specified that organisers and supervisors at Churches must ensure large number of people don’t gather at a time and social distance is maintained.

Police commissioners and deputy commissioners have been given the authority to impose more restrictions at places in their jurisdiction to avoid celebrations and social gatherings.

Earlier, Bengaluru’s civic body, the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP), had recommended to the government that New Year celebrations be restricted this year.

Every year, revellers turn up in large numbers in the city’s Central Business District (CBD) areas like M G Road, Church Street, Commercial Street and Brigade Road on the night of December 31 to bring in the new year.

Apart from this, the order also calls for adhering to Covid-related guidelines and restrictions that are already in place to control the spread of virus.

Karnataka on Thursday reported 1,236 fresh cases of the novel coronavirus and 10 fatalities, taking the total number of infections to 9.05 lakh and the toll to 11,981.

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