The Odisha government has introduced new relaxations in its ongoing lockdown restrictions to curb the spread of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19). The new guidelines, issued late on Saturday, will remain in place from Sunday till September 1. “With a view to protecting the health of the public along with normalising the economic activities, in suppression of all previous orders of Revenue and Disaster Management Department in this regard, the Government of Odisha do hereby impose the following stipulations/instructions for graded unlocking which shall be effective from 6 am of 1st August, 2021 (Sunday) till 6 am of 1st September, 2021 (Wednesday),” a state government order read.
However, the statewide night curfew from 8pm to 6am will continue and weekend shutdown will remain in force in Bhubaneswar, Cuttack and Puri, where the transmission rate of the viral disease is still high.
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From Sunday, shops and malls across Odisha can reopen from 6am to 8pm, restaurants, bars and dhabas or roadside eateries can operate with 50 per cent seating capacity and cinema halls and theatres can also reopen with 50 per cent seating capacity, the new guidelines stated.
Here are the new unlock guidelines put in place by Odisha:
> All religious, political and social gatherings will remain prohibited. However, district and municipal authorities are allowed to give permission for the reopening of religious places only after reviewing the Covid-19 situation.
> Shops and malls are allowed to open from 6am to 8pm in adherence to Covid appropriate behaviour which includes wearing face masks, social distancing, thermal scanning and usage of hand sanitisers.
> Restaurants, bars and dhabas across Odisha can operate with 50 per cent seating capacity in adherence to Covid appropriate behaviour.
> All cinema halls, theatres, auditoriums, assembly halls can reopen with 50 per cent seating capacity.
> The government order also said that street food vendors are allowed to operate with on the spot eating in adherence to Covid appropriate behaviour.
> Residents of Bhubaneswar, Cuttack and Puri will be required to produce a final Covid-19 vaccination certificate for entry into malls, bars, restaurants, dhabas, cinema halls, theatres, auditoriums, assembly halls, the order said.
> Inter-state and intra-state public transport and buses will remain functional with the notified seating capacity only.
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> The Odisha government has allowed sea beaches and parks to remain open.
> Weddings have been allowed, with approval from local authorities, with not more than 25 people. In the case of funerals and last rites, no more than 20 people can take part including hosts, priests, guests and other support staff.
> Museums, tourist places, zoos and archaeological monuments are allowed to open by following the Covid-19 protocols.
> All educational institutions including coaching centres shall operate as per the guidelines issued by the respective departments.
Odisha has so far recorded 977,268 coronavirus disease cases, 5,902 deaths and nearly 955,000 recoveries. On Saturday, the state saw 1,578 people testing positive for Covid-19, while 68 died and 1,841 recovered from the viral disease. Active cases in the state have come down 16,384. A health department official told news agency PTI on Saturday that all the 30 districts of Odisha registered daily test positivity ratio below 5 per cent after almost four months.