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Explained: Goa announces night curfew; here is what is allowed, and what isn’t

Citing a “sudden spike of Covid-19 in the state”, the Goa government enforced a night curfew in the state from Wednesday to April 30.

Written by MAYURA JANWALKAR , Edited by Explained Desk | Panaji |
Updated: April 27, 2021 10:17:43 am
GoaChief Minister Pramod Sawant has announced a number of restrictions in Goa (File photo)

With 26 Covid-19 deaths on Tuesday, the highest-ever single day mortality figure in the state, the Goa government Wednesday imposed night curfew from 10 pm to 6 am till April 30. Chief Minister Pramod Sawant announced a number of restrictions in the coastal state, including limits on attendance at weddings to 50 people and funerals to 20.

Goa on Wednesday had 9,300 active Covid-19 cases of which 1,502 cases were new. Seventeen deaths were reported in the day including that of a 27-year-old male with comorbidity.

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What are the restrictions imposed by the Goa government?

Citing a “sudden spike of Covid-19 in the state”, the Goa government enforced a night curfew in the state from Wednesday to April 30. No movement or gathering of people will be allowed from 10 pm to 6 am, the CM said. He, however, clarified that vehicles transporting essential items, groceries, milk etc., and also those coming into Goa from other states, will be allowed during night curfew hours and so will be emergency medical services. Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code that prohibits a gathering of more than five people has been invoked in the state. Sawant appealed to people to stay at home and not to step out needlessly. Sawant said the restrictions will be reviewed on April 30.

What will remain closed?

Schools, colleges, educational and coaching institutions will remain closed except for offline examinations of college students.

Class XII and Class X examinations to be held by the state education board starting April 24 have been postponed. The CM said new dates will be announced at least 15 days prior to the date of the examination.

Swimming pools have been shut down and no social, political, sports, entertainment or academic or cultural gatherings will be allowed. Sports clubs in the state have been asked to cancel their tournaments scheduled in this period and cooperate with the government’s efforts to curtail the pandemic.

What are the activities that will be allowed but with some restrictions?

Establishments like casinos, bars, restaurants, river cruise, water parks, entertainment parks, gymnasiums, spa, massage parlours, cinema halls, multiplexes and public transport buses will be allowed to run at 50 per cent capacity. The district administration will take action against those violating these restrictions as mentioned under Section 188 of the IPC that pertains to disobedience of an order duly promulgated by a public servant. The section attracts simple imprisonment of up to one month or a fine of Rs 200 or both.

Places of worship like temples, mosques, churches and mutts will be allowed to carry out their daily rituals performed by the priest or the custodian of the establishment. They have, however, been asked not to hold mass gatherings. Any kind of collective prayers should be held at home or virtually.

Weddings will be allowed with up to 50 persons and last rites with up to 20 persons will require no permissions from the district administration, the CM said.

Five municipal councils will go to polls on April 23 with all the Covid-19 restrictions like wearing of masks, social distancing and use of sanitisers.

Government and private offices have both been asked to encourage work from home.

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What about tourist activities?

Places of tourist interest like casinos, five-star hotels and restaurants can continue to run but only at half capacity. Even past 10 pm, these establishments are allowed to run as long as their patrons stay on their premises and do not crowd on the road or public spaces. Section 144 of the CrPC will be “strictly implemented” at places including beaches, the CM said, which will mean that groups of more than five gathering at a beach would be a violation.

A study by the state’s epidemiologists at the Goa Medical College and Hospital (GMCH), Sawant said that coastal belt had a concentration of emerging hotspots and the government, to an extent and in consultation with the epidemiologists and the district administration, will declare such parts micro-containment zones and impose restrictions, the Chief Minister said on Wednesday.

What about industries, shops and establishments?

There will be no restrictions on functioning of industries, factories, including manufacturing and pharma, Sawant said.  Shops, malls, chemists, establishments will remain open every day and there was no need for panic buying or stocking of groceries.

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