Maharashtra’s night curfew at cities to begin today: All you need to know
Maharashtra has announced that a seven-hour night curfew would be put in place across all cities and municipal corporation areas in the state. The curfew from 11pm to 6am is being imposed from Tuesday, December 22, 2020, for 15 days until January 5, 2021.
What caused the curfew?
A high-level meeting called by Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray decided to implement the night curfew across cities in the state. Two main reasons have been stated by the government for the move.
Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) commissioner Iqbal Singh Chahal said that occurrences of violation of social distancing norms have been observed in Mumbai. To avoid an increase in Covid-19 cases during the oncoming new year celebrations because of these violations, the curfew has been put in place. “This is not a normal new year which is why we cannot have normal celebrations. The curfew is being imposed to ensure that such violations are not repeated,” he said.
Also, the rapid increase in Covid-19 cases in the UK after the outbreak of a new mutation of coronavirus has also caused concerns globally. The Maharashtra government has said that the move is a precautionary measure and has also asked the people to remain vigilant for the next 15 days.
What are the new rules?
Chahal explained the difference between a total lockdown and a night curfew as “ While in a lockdown, individuals cannot step out of their homes. In a curfew, more than 5 people cannot assemble outside during the specified hours. So, offices that function overnight or something like dairy transportation can still operate. Taxis, cars and auto-rickshaws will also run just like before.”
Here are new changes implemented due to the night curfew:
• All cities and municipal corporation areas will be under night curfew for 7 hours from 11pm to 6am starting from December 22, 2020, until January 5, 2021.
• More than five people can not assemble outside during the curfew. However, offices, taxis, car and auto-rickshaws are allowed to operate in the night following the existing norms.
• All travellers arriving at Mumbai airport from European countries and the Middle East would be placed under institutional quarantine.
• The travellers are allowed to leave for their homes upon completion of the quarantine period. Also, RT-PCR Covid-19 test for these travellers would be taken on the fifth or the seventh day.
• People from other countries apart from Europe and the Middle East would be prescribed a home quarantine.
• Temporary institutional quarantine facilities near airports and hotels would be arranged by the municipal commissioners.
• Air travel between India and the UK was suspended on Monday and all flights that are already scheduled to arrive would carry nearly 1,000 passengers, who would be transported to 2000 hotel rooms arranged for them. Passengers showing symptoms of Covid-19 would be transferred to the GT Hospital.