Karnataka issues new COVID guidelines, imposes night and weekend curfew
Aimed at controlling the spread of COVID-19, the Karnataka government on Tuesday issued a new set of guidelines as per which night curfew will be imposed in the state from April 21 and curfew will be in place during weekends.
"Night Curfew is imposed in the entire state from 9 pm to 6 am and there shall be weekend curfew from Friday 9 pm to Monday 6 am," state's Chief Secretary, P Ravi Kumar said.
Speaking to reporters here, he said guidelines to contain COVID-19 transmission in the state shall come into effect from 9 pm on April 21, and will be in force up to 6 am on May 4.
The guidelines were issued following a virtual all-party meeting chaired by Governor Vajubhai Vala, along with Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa this evening to discuss the prevailing COVID-19 situation in the state amid a spike in cases.
They were announced amid intense speculation that the government may go for lockdown like restrictions in Bengaluru and a few other places, with former Chief Minister and JD(S) leader H D Kumaraswamy also demanding it.
However, the Chief Secretary maintained that the guidelines are as per the recommendations of the state's Technical Advisory Committee on COVID, comprising experts and after consultation with opposition parties.
"This is the mid-way instead of a complete lockdown," he said, adding that Section 144 CrPC (prohibitory orders) will be clamped across the state to ensure crowds do not gather.
As per the guidelines, schools, colleges, educational/ training and coaching institutions will remain closed.
Online and distance learning shall continue to be permitted and be encouraged.
Also included under prohibited activities are all cinema halls, shopping malls, gymnasiums, yoga centers, spas, sports complexes, stadia, swimming pools, entertainment and amusement parks, theatres, bars and auditoriums, assembly halls and similar places.
However, swimming pools approved by Swimming Federation of lndia will be opened for sports persons for training only, while stadia and playground are allowed for organising sports events and practicing purpose, without spectators.
Under the guidelines, all social, political, sports, entertainment, academic, cultural, religious gatherings, other gatherings and large congregations have been prohibited.
All religious places and places of worship shall be closed to the public, it said.
However, all personnel engaged in the service of the place of worship shall continue to perform their rituals and duties without involving any visitors.
Restaurants and eateries are permitted to operate and only take home (parcels) would be allowed, it added.
While marriages are permitted strictly adhering to COVID-19 appropriate behaviour, with a maximum of 50 people, cremation or funerals will be allowed with a maximum of 20.
All construction activities, civil repair activities are permitted, as also works pertaining to pre-monsoon preparation.
All industries or industrial establishments or production units can operate adhering to COVID-19 appropriate behaviour, the guidelines said, adding that movement of staff shall be allowed by producing valid ID/authorisation issued by concerned industries/industrial establishment.
Standalone liquor shops and outlets, and bars and restaurants are permitted for take away only, it said, adding that delivery of all items through ecommerce, as also banks, insurance offices and ATMs are permitted.
Barber shops, salons, beauty parlours can operate strictly adhering to COVID-19 appropriate behaviour and guidelines.
Kumar said all private offices, organisations, institutions, companies shall be allowed to function with minimal strength as far as possible, and work from home should be encouraged.
Only essential employees of IT and ITeS companies shall work from office, while the rest will work from home, he said.
All government offices, autonomous bodies and public corporations shall function with 50 percent strength, and the rest of the staff shall be deployed for COVID-19 containment and management purposes.
The departments dealing with essential and emergency services shall function in full capacity as per the guidelines to be issued by DAPR, it added.
There shall be no restriction on inter-state and intra-state movement of persons and goods, the guidelines said, adding no separate permission, approval or e-permit would be required for such movements.
However, people coming from other states should strictly adhere to the prevailing guidelines, SOPs issued, it said.
The number of people traveling in buses, maxi cabs, tempo travellers and metro shall be 50 percent of the seating capacity and in other vehicles, as per the seating capacity stipulated by the RTO, it further said, adding that unnecessary travel through private vehicles should be avoided.
The chief secretary said during night curfew, those going to hospitals can travel.
Also, there are no restrictions on long distance travel and those going to bus stands or railway stations if they have tickets, and industries will be allowed to run.
During weekend curfew, everything during night curfew will be applicable, but between 6am to 10 am, neighbourhood shops will be open, he added.