The Delhi government has announced a night curfew on Thursday and Friday, prohibiting the gathering of more than five persons in public places to ensure that New Year celebrations do not lead to a violation of Covid-19 regulations, especially at a time when a new variant of Covid-19 has raised concerns globally.
The prohibition would apply from Thursday 11pm to Friday 6am and from Friday 11pm to Saturday 6am, said an order issued by the Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) which HT has seen. It, however, clarified that public spaces shall not include licensed premises such as restaurants, bars, hotels and would not affect the movement of goods or people within the state and interstate.
Delhi’s chief secretary Vijay Dev confirmed the development.
“The ministry of home affairs through its order dated December 28 has advised states and union territories (that) based on their assessment of the situation they may impose local restrictions, with a view to contain the spread of Covid-19, such as night curfew,” said the DDMA order.
It said, “A detailed assessment of the situation in Delhi has been made and considering the threat posed by the mutant UK strain of Covid-19 virus and after observing local incidents of Covid-19 pandemics in Delhi, it is apprehended that gatherings, congregations and public celebrations in New Year pose a considerable threat of spread of the virus.”
The order, however, wouldn’t apply inside premises of hotels, restaurants, pubs, etc. “In such premises, Covid-19 guidelines like a limit on number of persons, mandatory wearing of masks and ensuring other Covid-19 appropriate behaviour will apply,” said Dev.
In recent years, public spaces such as India Gate or Delhi zoo have reported gathering of tens of thousands on New Years’ Day.