‘Weekend lockdown’, stringent curbs in Mah from today
   Date :05-Apr-2021

Weekend lockdown_1 &
‘Week-end lockdown’ and stringent weekdays norms across the State to be enforced till April end 
THE Maharashtra Government on Sunday announced a weekend lockdown and night curfew during the weekdays from Monday to April 30, in addition to a slew of other restrictions like closure of private offices, theatres and salons to curb the unprecedented surge in COVID-19 cases. The weekend lockdown will start from 8 pm on Fridays and last till 7 am on Mondays. Besides, prohibitory orders will be in force during daytime on weekdays, the Chief Minister’s Office (CMO) said in a statement. Except the essential services shops, medical shops and grocery shops, all other shops, markets and shopping malls will be closed till April 30. All these new restrictions will come into effect from Monday 8 pm and will be called ‘Break the Chain’ instead of ‘Mission Begin Again’, a campaign that was launched by the state government for phase-wise reopening of lockdown last year.
A decision to implement these restrictions was taken during the special meeting of the council of ministers chaired by Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray through video-conferencing on Sunday. All private offices, except in banking, stock market, insurance, pharma, telecommunication and mediclaim sectors, will be shut as part of these restrictions. Work from home is mandatory for private offices, except those in local disaster management, electricity and water supply, the statement said. Government offices, except those departments involved in COVID-19 management, will function at 50 per cent of their capacity. Official meetings will be held online and visitors will be barred from entering government offices, it added. Section 144 of the CrPC will be in place in the State from 7 am to 8 pm to prohibit gathering of more than five persons at one place during the day time.
Night curfew will be in place from 8 pm to 7 am. But medical and essential services have been exempted from the night curfew. Gardens, beaches and all public places will be closed from 8 pm to 7 am. If the local administration feels that people crowd these places during daytime without observing physical distancing, they will be closed down, it said. Public and private transport systems will continue to operate. Taxis and autorickshaws will ferry 50 per cent of their total capacity at a time. There will be no standing passengers in public and private buses and masks will be mandatory, the new guidelines said. Bus drivers, conductors and other employees must have COVID-19 negative test report or get themselves vaccinated at the earliest. Schools, colleges and private coaching classes will be closed. However, exams for Classes 10 and 12 will take place as announced earlier.
The railway administration has been asked to ensure that outstation trains do not have standing passengers and everyone should have face masks, it said. Places of entertainment like theatres, cinema halls, video parlours, multiplexes, clubs, swimming pools, sports complexes, auditoriums, water parks will remain shut. While places of worship will also be closed for devotees, religious rituals there will continue. Priests and staff at the religious places should get themselves vaccinated immediately. Only take-away and parcel services will be available from restaurants and bars and road-side eateries will also do business only for take-away and parcel service.