The Karnataka government on Monday (28 December) banned New Year eve revelry and parties on 31 December night and early 1 January across the state capital to prevent Covid spread.
“There will be a 12-hour ban under Section 144 on gathering of more than 5 persons in public places across the city from 6 p.m. on December 31 to 6 a.m. on January 1 to prevent the spread of Covid-19 infection,” said Bengaluru Police Commissioner Kamal Pant in an order.
The order, however, exempts customers with advance booking to celebrate the New Year eve in pubs, bars and restaurants across the city under Covid-induced guidelines, with face mask and maintaining physical distance.
“All pubs, bars, clubs, restaurants, star hotels and malls will have to ensure thermal screening of customers at their entrance, sanitising hands and using only 50 per cent of their capacity to ensure social distancing,” said the order.
The order has also banned DJ (disk jockey) parties, special events and any kind of performances in public places and commercial premises to prevent assembling of large gathering or crowding.
Though Covid cases have drastically declined during the month, the city continues to be the epicentre of the pandemic, accounting for over 50 per cent (3,86,908) of the southern state’s positive cases and deaths (4,304) till Monday since the virus broke out in March.
“In view of the prevailing Covid situation in the city and emergence of a new strain of the virus in the UK, it is essential to enforce preventive and precautionary measures to contain the spread of the disease,” Pant said.
Unlike on 31 December night of every year, citizens will not be allowed to gather on MG Road, Brigade, Road and Church Street in downtown and other prominent public places across the city to ensure social distancing.
“Movement of people and vehicles will be regulated, diverted and restricted to avoid traffic jams and vehicles will be banned from parking in downtown,” said the order.
Cars and two-wheelers will also be banned from flyovers across the city during the 12-hour ban to prevent mishaps due to drunken driving or drag racing.
“Citizens are, however, free to usher in the New Year in their houses, flats, gated communities and residential areas under the guidelines without special events or get-together,” the order said.
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