The Maharashtra government on Monday urged people to refrain from venturing out of their homes to usher in the New Year amid the COVID-19 outbreak and pointed that a night curfew is in force till January 5 in major cities of the state. Areas falling under municipal corporation limits (major cities) are under curfew between 11 pm and 6 am till January 5 as a precautionary measure taken after a new variant of coronavirus was found in the UK.
A circular issued by the state government appealed to people to "welcome the New Year in a simple way in their homes" and "avoid visiting seashores, gardens, roads even though there will be no day curfew on December 31". It specifically said children below the age of 10 and people above 60 should not go out of their homes for New Year festivities in view of the pandemic.
The circular asked people to maintain social distancing and wear face masks when stepping out of their homes. Mumbai sees huge crowds of revellers at Marine Drive, Gateway of India, Girgaum and Juhu beaches, among other places, on the New Year eve.
No cultural or religious events should be organised during this period, and people visiting places of worship on the first day of 2021 must take care to avoid crowding, the government order said. There should be no bursting of firecrackers to avoid pollution, the circular further said.