Prohibition of social and religious gatherings; five-day week in government offices

SHIMLA : Amid rising cases of the new coronavirus, the Himachal Pradesh government on Sunday announced new Covid restrictions to curb the spread of the deadly virus in the state.

The official statement banned all types of social and religious gatherings amid other strict measures.

The official statement said the new restrictions would come into effect on January 10 and remain in place until January 24.

The official statement capped the presence of staff in government offices at 50% and mentioned that workers should only work weekdays, that is, Monday to Friday.

None of the restrictions apply to offices dealing with emergency services.

Himachal Pradesh through January 8 had recorded a total of 2,31,587 coronavirus cases, including 3,864 deaths.

The statement said district magistrates will set shop and market hours after reviewing the individual Covid situation.

The government has also banned the gathering of more than 100 people for indoor events and 300 people for outdoor academic, sporting, cultural and political events, according to a decree.

“Academic, sporting, entertainment, cultural and political gatherings are allowed up to 50% of the capacity of the place, subject to a maximum of 100 people in indoor spaces and 300 people in open spaces,” says the official press release.

The state government previously imposed a nighttime curfew and closed educational institutions until January 26.

“All offices of government departments / PSUs / local bodies / autonomous bodies, including the HP secretariat, will remain closed on Saturdays and Sundays and these offices will operate with a 50 percent turnout on working days,” the order issued by the Chief Secretary of State Ram says Subhag Singh.

“These restrictions will not apply to offices responsible for emergency or essential services such as health, police, fire brigade, banks, electricity, water and sanitation, public transport, telecommunications, excise duties, budget and related incident services / activities, etc. “he added.

The statement said the Himachal Pradesh High Court will issue separate orders regarding judicial functions.

There will also be a total ban on langars (community kitchens) statewide and advance notice of gatherings will have to be given to authorities, the statement added.

Himachal Pradesh attracts a number of tourists at this time of year due to the beautiful snowfall and snow capped mountains.

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