Maharashtra Weekend Lockdown: What’s Allowed, What’s Not?
Pedestrians walk past the Gateway of India monument in Mumbai, India (Photographer: Dhiraj Singh/Bloomberg)

Maharashtra Weekend Lockdown: What’s Allowed, What’s Not?

The Maharashtra government has announced new curbs in the state that includes a night curfew and a weekend lockdown as Covid-19 cases surged unabated.

The weekend lockdown will start from Friday 8 p.m. and be in place till Monday 7 a.m., a statement by the Chief Minister’s Office said. The government will also enforce a night curfew from 8 p.m. to 7 a.m. daily when only essential services will be allowed to function.

These new curbs will stay in effect till April 30.

Prohibitory orders under Section 144, that bar people gatherings of five or more, will be in place throughout the day. Besides, no one will be allowed to leave their homes between 8 p.m. and 7 a.m. without any valid reason—medical and other essential services stand excluded.

What Will Be Closed

  • All private offices will remain shut except for financial services. Work from home is mandatory.
  • Restaurants and bars will be shut for dine-in services. Takeaway and home delivery will be allowed between 7 a.m and 8 p.m.
  • All shops, malls and marketplaces except for essential services like medicine, groceries and vegetables will be shut.
  • Recreational areas like cinemas, theatres, swimming pools and auditoriums will be closed.
  • Places of worship will be closed for visitors.
  • Hair salons, beauty parlours and spas will remain shut.

What Will Be Allowed

  • Government offices can run with up to 50% attendance.
  • Private and public transport will continue. However rickshaws, taxis and private vehicles can only run with 50% sitting capacity.
  • For street vendors parcel service will be allowed between 7 a.m. and 8 p.m.
  • E-commerce services can continue between 7 a.m. and 8 p.m. However, delivery staff needs to be vaccinated.
  • Newspaper printing and distribution can continue provided vendor is vaccinated.
  • Filming can continue but should not involve crowds. Negative RT-PCR tests will be mandatory for everyone present from April 10.
  • Industry and manufacturing sector will continue to operate by following health protocols.

Apart from these restrictions, the state will seal a housing society and declare it a mini-containment zone if more than five people are tested positive for Covid-19.

The Maharashtra government has also put into place safeguards for workers on construction sites. According to the rules, construction workers will be required to stay at the site itself. Sick workers will not be removed from their jobs if they get Covid-19.

Maharashtra has seen massive surge in Covid-19 cases in the last one month with the state accounting for over half of the new cases in India. On Saturday, Maharashtra recorded over 49,000 new cases—its highest single-day spike since the pandemic began.

The state has now over 4 lakh active cases, almost three times of what it had a month ago.

The new restrictions came after Maharashtra Chief Minister chaired a cabinet meeting to discuss the roadmap to tackle the second wave. Earlier, Thackeray also met a group of business leaders from the state to discuss the way forward. The virtual meeting was led by industry lobby CII President Uday Kotak, according to PTI.

Other leaders who attended who participated were Baba Kalyani, Reliance Industries’ Nikhil Meswani, Ajay Piramal, Sajjan Jindal, Sanjeev Bajaj, and realtors Boman Irani and Niranjan Hiranandani.

Appealing to the state's citizens, Thackeray had on Friday warned of new curbs. In a televised address he said the state's healthcare infrastructure would be crippled if in the next 15-20 days if cases continued rising at the same rate.

The state also plans to vaccinate up to 7 lakh people daily, if the Centre starts providing more doses, Thackeray had said. Maharashtra already has the highest number of vaccinations in India.

Also read: Coronavirus India Updates: Over 93,000 New Cases, Active Caseload Near 7 Lakh

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