Holi 2021 amid Covid-19 spike: List of states/UTs that banned public celebrations
- DDMA announced on Tuesday that there will be no public celebration of Holi, Shab-e-Barat, Navaratri et al
Amid a continuous uptick in the daily tally of Covid-19 cases, the Centre on Wednesday issued a circular advising states and union territories to impose restrictions as festival season approaches, under Section 22 of the Disaster Management Act. A host of festivals starting with Holi is scheduled to be celebrated in the coming months. States have not imposed restrictions on inter-state movement but many have stepped up testing and surveillance in places of transit. India recorded 47,262 new Covid-19 cases on Wednesday, taking the nationwide tally to 11,734,058, according to the health ministry’s dashboard.
Enlisted below are the states stepping up to ensure the festive season does not push the Covid-19 tally up any further.
Maharashtra- The civic authorities of Mumbai, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), on Tuesday banned public and private celebrations of Holi and Rangapanchami in the city, asking Mumbaikars to celebrate “once the virus has been chased”. “All private/public celebration of Holika Dahan & Rang Panchami has been prohibited to ensure Covid-19 doesn’t play a spoilsport. We request Mumbaikars to cooperate. Strict action will be taken against offenders,” BMC said in a tweet on Tuesday. Action against violators will be taken under the Epidemic Diseases Act of 1897 and Disaster Management Act, 2005, BMC said.
Uttar Pradesh- The Uttar Pradesh government has ordered testing people arriving for Holi celebrations from states witnessing a surge in Covid-19 cases. Tests will be conducted at railway stations, airports, bus depots. Public programmes in the state are subject to prior approval. District magistrate of Lucknow told news agency PTI that Holi festivities like rain dance parties and other open dance programmes have been banned in the capital, permissions given to such programmes earlier have been withdrawn. The state government has also asked senior citizens above 60 years of age, children below 10, and individuals with co-morbidities to refrain from participating in public celebrations.
Madhya Pradesh- The state of Madhya Pradesh has been witnessing an upsurge in daily cases of Covid-19. Lockdowns have been imposed in the cities of Indore, Bhopal, and Jabalpur. Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan has appealed to citizens to follow proper Covid-19 preventive measures, reported PTI. Chouhan asked people to exhibit caution during stating that “people should avoid crowded places and also stop taking part in festivities for some time. Even the Holi festival must be celebrated at home only."
Delhi- The Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) announced on Tuesday that there will be no public celebration of Holi, Shab-e-Barat, Navaratri et al in parks, religious places, public grounds, markets within the national capital territory of Delhi. "All authorities concerned will ensure that public celebrations and gatherings, congregations during upcoming festivals like Holi, Shab-e-Barat, Navaratri etc shall not be allowed in public places/public grounds/public parks/markets/religious places etc in NCT of Delhi," Chief secretary Dev said in an order, reported
The Delhi government designated malls, religious places, metros, and movie halls as superspreaders on Wednesday, asking district magistrates to increase surveillance of the concerned areas.
Haryana-The Haryana government banned all Holi celebrations in the state due to the rising number of Covid-19 cases in the country, minister Anil Vij tweeted on Wednesday.
Odisha- Special relief commissioner PK Jena told PTI that the Odisha government has banned Holi celebrations in public places, asking district administrations to remain vigilant as the festival approaches. The Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation has also banned Holi and Dol jatra celebrations in the city and intensified surveillance at the airport and railway station.
Gujarat- The Gujarat government has banned all public celebrations and mass gatherings on Holi, asking people to celebrate it traditionally with limited rituals instead. “Considering the prevailing Covid-19 situation in the state, Holi can be celebrated traditionally with limited rituals. Organizers need to be vigilant about strict adherence. Public celebrations & mass events will not be allowed on Dhuleti Day,” reported news agency ANI.
Chandigarh- The Chandigarh administration has ordered the cancellation of all Holi-related festivities and banned all clubs and restaurants from organizing any celebrations. "The residents must celebrate the Holi festival at home while following appropriate Covid-19 protocol," the administration announced via an official statement.
Chhattisgarh- Though the state has not officially banned any celebrations as of yet, chief minister Bhupendra Baghel after chairing a high-level meeting on Sunday has asked the administration to be vigilant during Holi, and ensure all protocols are followed to thwart the spread of Covid-19.