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Explained: Karnataka night curfew over new strain and what international flyers need to know

Karnataka night curfew: In the backdrop of a new strain of the coronavirus emerging in the United Kingdom, the Karnataka government on Wednesday decided to impose a night curfew in the state which will be in effect from December 24 to January 2.

Written by Darshan Devaiah BP , Edited by Explained Desk | Bengaluru | Updated: December 25, 2020 8:13:48 am
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The Karnataka government has decided to impose night curfew across the state starting Thursday night (December 24) amid global fears of a new Covid strain detected in the United Kingdom. Here are the guidelines to be followed in the state during the curfew hours, and what travellers arriving here need to watch out for.

Why has Karnataka imposed night curfew?

In the backdrop of a new strain of the coronavirus emerging in the United Kingdom, the Karnataka government on Wednesday decided to impose a night curfew in the state which will be in effect from December 24 to January 2. The curfew hours will be from 11 pm to 5 am.

The announcement of the night curfew came after the CM held detailed discussions with members of the technical advisory committee on Wednesday morning. “In view of the new strain of Coronavirus, night curfew for nine days will be imposed till January 2,” Yediyurappa told reporters.

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What all will be shut during night curfew?

All shops, barring essential services like medical stores, will have to shut down by 11 pm. According to guidelines, Karnataka Chief Secretary TM Vijay Bhaskar, movement of individuals is strictly prohibited between 11 pm and 5 am, with the exception of those involved in essential services. There are no restrictions on the movement of goods through trucks, goods vehicles or carriers, including empty vehicles.

What about industries and companies working night shifts?

All industries, companies and organisations, which require operations at night, have been permitted to operate with 50 per cent staff. Movement of employees of such organisations shall be allowed on producing valid ID cards issued by their respective organisation or institution.

Industries and factories which operate 24×7 have been allowed to function without any restrictions.

What about public transport, auto and cab operations?

According to the guidelines, the movement of long-distance night bus, trains and flights are also permitted. “To and fro movement of taxis and auto are permitted for dropping or pickup of people to or from bus stops, railway stations and airports. The movement will be allowed on displaying valid tickets,” the order said. Bengaluru Metropolitan Transport Corporation bus will operate normally, BMTC PRO confirmed.

TS Latha, public relations officer, Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC), said buses will ply as usual during this period.

Are new year and Christmas celebrations allowed?

The Karnataka government has permitted Midnight Mass on December 24 night as per guidelines already issued on December 17. The order has specified that organisers and supervisors at churches must ensure that large gatherings are avoided at one time and social distancing is maintained.

Meanwhile, the order banned New Year celebrations in clubs, pubs and restaurants. Issued by Chief Secretary Bhaskar, the order only permits bursting of green crackers on festive nights and revellers have been advised to refrain from handshakes and hugs.

What are the norms for international passengers arriving in Karnataka?

All passengers who arrive in Karnataka from any country without a COVID-19 negative report will have to undergo mandatory tests, according to the circular issued by the state government.

“The returnees should have a COVID-19 negative certificate issued within 72 hours from 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.

The state government has directed the authorities at Bengaluru, Mangaluru International Airport, Mangaluru and Karwar seaport to take necessary measures to implement testing process of the returnees with immediate effect in association with jurisdictional health officials.

“Facility for RT-PCR testing or swab collection should be made available. Passengers who have given swab samples should be advised strict home quarantine till the receipt of the lab report. The passengers can opt for free RT-PCR testing by the government or undergo express test at the airport at their own expenses,”the government circular added.

What are the restrictions for those who are flying in from the UK ?

Officials in the state health department will ensure vigilance of those who arrived from the UK between November 25 and December 22. The returnees will undergo 28 days of compulsory quarantine. Health officials will cater to their needs during the initial 14 days of quarantine after which they will have to voluntarily restrict themselves at home, according to Health Minister Dr K Sudhakar.

Sudhakar said 2,500 passengers from the UK have arrived in the state during this period. “Two flights arrived during this period. Details of the passengers are available and every single one of them will be kept under strict vigilance. RT-PCR test will be conducted if anyone is found symptomatic,” he added.

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