The administration ordered closing of all restaurants and other eating places by 11pm. The last order can be taken till 10pm. Besides, all Holi gatherings will be banned. Clubs, hotels and restaurants will host no Holi milan parties. All eateries will run only with 50% capacity.
As Covid cases surge and many people remain oblivious to the need for following standard protocol, curbs had to be imposed to rein in the numbers and help contain the rising infection. However, in order to be effective, these need to be enforced strictly, else these won’t help either. With the return of a possible second wave, perhaps people will realise the need to adhere to mandated safeguards.
The decisions were taken in the review meeting chaired by UT administrator VP Singh Badnore. The administration appealed to the residents to celebrate Holi at home while following Covid protocol. The administration also ordered that all schools, colleges and other educational institutions will remain closed till March 31. The state museums, libraries, auditoriums and theatres run by the administration will remain closed till further orders.
It was also decided in the meeting that no new permission will be granted for holding any exhibition or fair and all those allowed earlier may continue as per their scheduled programme.
A permission from the deputy commissioner will be mandatory for holding any event, including political, social or even wedding. The number of guests will be restricted by the DC. Badnore suggested that contact tracing should be intensified and all those who came in contact with a corona positive case must be mandatorily tested. He also mentioned that visitors reaching Chandigarh by bus, train, air and other public transport modes should be invariably screened.
It was also decided to do strict monitoring at crowded places, like Sukhna Lake, apni mandis, markets and shopping malls. The UT administration issued directions to municipal corporation authorities to allow vegetable and fruit vendors to sell produce in carts by visiting various residential areas to reduce crowd in apni mandis and the wholesale market in Sector 26.
The administration has also appealed that hosts of various events must ensure that all guests wear masks, and wherever necessary, distribute them. The administrator appealed to the councillors, office-bearers of market associations and residents’ welfare associations and other public leaders to motivate people to get themselves tested and vaccinated. He asked medical authorities to ensure that they were ready to handle the increasing number of Covid patients coming to hospitals.