Night Curfew In Maharashtra Civic Corporation Areas From Dec. 22-Jan. 5
The Maharashtra government on Monday declared a night curfew in municipal corporation areas of the state from Dec. 22 to Jan. 5 as a precautionary measure amid mounting fears about a new coronavirus variant spreading in Britain.
Following the announcement, the Mumbai civic administration moved to enforce restrictions and make arrangements to quarantine air passengers arriving from Britain, where a new Covid-19 variant is spreading fast.
As per the state government directive, a curfew between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m. will be enforced in the financial capital till Jan. 5, Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation Commissioner IS Chahal said.
Chahal said essential services like vegetable and milk supply will remain unaffected during the night curfew but more than five people can not assemble at a place during the seven- hour-long period.
The IAS officer said the government decision will put restrictions on Christmas and New Year celebrations in the metropolis.
People were found violating Covid-19-related norms at pubs and night clubs during recent raids, the civic commissioner said.
As per the state government estimates, around 1,000 passengers are expected to arrive at the city airport by five flights from the U.K. till Dec. 22 midnight, he said.
Chahal said all of them will be compulsorily kept at institutional quarantine facilities for seven days even if they do not have any Covid-19 symptoms.
Passengers showing Covid-19-like symptoms will be admitted at the BMC-run Seven Hills Hospital at suburban Marol, he said.
Passengers from Pune, Nagpur and other parts of the state coming by these flights won't be allowed to go home and they will have to stay in institutional quarantine even if they do not show any Covid-19 symptoms.
Hoteliers Ask Government To Review Decision
Hotel owners have urged the Maharashtra government to relook at its decision of imposing night curfew to curb Covid-19 infections, saying such a move will result in high revenue losses for the already battered industry.
Federation of Hotel and Restaurant Associations of India's Vice President Gurbaxish Singh Kohli said people have started to move around, and will prefer to go outside Maharashtra for the celebrations. Kohli termed this decision "too harsh" as this is brisk business season for the food and beverages industry because people gather up to celebrate.
"There will be tremendous revenue losses for us. We are already battered by the lockdowns and the curfews which existed during the various phases of unlock. Rather than being sympathetic towards us, the government has done the opposite," he told PTI.
He said the lobby grouping will be writing to the government to have a relook at its decision and ensure that the citizens also get a chance to celebrate by responsibly following all the Covid-19 norms.
The government should allow hotels and restaurants to be open till 1:30 a.m. rather than 11 p.m., he said, accepting that the 5 a.m. deadline for such establishments followed every year may not be feasible this year.