In view of the Covid situation, the Odisha government has announced new guidelines for September. The Special Relief Commissioner, Pradeep Jena, who announced the new guidelines, said that there is no weekend shutdown across the State anymore. But the night curfew continues in urban areas from 10 pm to 5 am. The new guidelines will remain in force from September 1 to October 1, 2021.
Jena said, “Given the drop in daily cases of Covid-19 infections, the State government has decided to relax restrictions to support the livelihood of people. As per the decision, the weekend shutdown which was enforced in Cuttack, Bhubaneswar and Puri has been lifted. There will be no weekend shutdown in any part of the State during this period."
The deadline for closure of shops has been extended from the existing 8 pm to 10 pm. As a result, all shops and commercial establishments across the State can remain open till 10 pm. However, night curfew restrictions will continue in all urban areas from 10 pm to 5 am across the State. The night curfew restrictions assume significance to restrict unnecessary movement of people in late hours during the upcoming festive season.
The State government has allowed cinema halls to open with full seating capacity. There is no need for a vaccination certificate or Covid negative report to enter cinema halls and malls. The management of the film hall or malls will need to ensure that people will adhere to Covid restrictions.
However, all social, religious, political and cultural gatherings have been prohibited.
In marriages, funerals and thread ceremonies, a total of 250 persons can participate. But strict adherence to Covid norms is a must, anyone who violates will be booked. However, the ‘Baraat’ or any procession for marriage, will have a maximum of 50 persons. The number 250, includes these 50 guests in the procession. All these functions will require permission from the local authority.
During the night curfew, emergent travel or movement has been allowed. Besides, the movement of delivery personnel of online food aggregators has been allowed.
Jena said, “There has been a fall in new Covid cases with people strictly adhering to the Covid guidelines issued by the government. We have to practice caution because of the possible third wave. The ceiling during weddings has been increased to 250 from 25. A total of 50 persons, including the band, can participate in marriage processions. All museums and libraries will be allowed to open with Covid restrictions. Cinema halls, malls can now operate with full capacity. However, restrictions on religious, social and political congregations will continue. No permission will be given for melas and exhibitions."