As the Covid-19 pandemic continues, the Maharashtra government Monday issued an advisory suggesting that citizens celebrate New Year’s Eve within the confines of their homes and refrain from stepping out.
“People should not crowd at the beaches, parks and public places and should maintain social distancing,” the advisory stated.
As many people gather at areas like the Gateway of India, Marine Lines, Girgaum Chowpatty and Juhu Chowpatty in Mumbai and other major cities in the state, “people need to take extra care of their health, considering the Covid-19 health crisis,” it stated, and added that people should not crowd religious places on the first day of the new year.
It also said citizens aged over 60 years and children under the age of 10 are advised against going out of their homes, and religious/cultural events and processions should not be organised on the occasion of New Year’s Eve.
Meanwhile, the Maharashtra tourist department has also issued a standard operating procedure (SOP) for tourists and tourist destinations outside containment zones, stating that a Covid-19 team comprising representatives from police, local bodies, district magistrates and other relevant departments involved in the operations of each tourist destination should be formed by the administration. The teams will ensure crowd management, training of staff, compliance to hygiene and sanitation/ disinfection guidelines, social distancing norms, and coordination with the local health department, it added.
The SOP further said the administration may create a “unidirectional in-and-out strategy or trail for visitors” as per the requirement to manage crowds at tourist locations. Tourists have been asked to strictly maintain a physical distance of two metres and the use of the Aarogya Setu mobile app has been made mandatory to ensure safety. Other guidelines or SOPs issued by local authorities shall be applicable and must be duly followed, it said.