By Bizodisha Bureau, Bhubaneswar, August 31, 2021: The Odisha government on Tuesday relaxed a number of restrictions imposed in the state to stop the spread of corona virus in September including lifting of weekend shutdown across the state.

The decision comes in the wake of a decline in the number of daily COVID-19 cases, says Special Relief Commissioner PK Jena. “In view of the drop in daily Covid cases, the state government has decided to relax the restrictions to support the livelihoods of people. Now, there will be no weekend shutdown in any place of the State,” he said.

He further added that the government has decided to withdraw weekend shutdowns from all places in the state, including Bhubaneswar, Cuttack, and Puri. The relaxations will remain in effect from September 1 to October 1. But, the night curfew will continue in all the urban areas across the state from 10 pm to 5 am every day, Jena said.

Essential services like cab and food delivery aggregators will be allowed to operate during the night curfew and there will be no restriction on plying of commercial vehicles, including passenger buses and goods carrying trucks. Shops, business establishments will be allowed to function and other activities will be allowed between 5 am to 10 pm, he said.

The state government has given more relaxation for conducting weddings, thread ceremony and funerals. The government has now allowed 250 people to attend marriages and funerals by adhering to Covid appropriate behaviours. This will include the host, guests, and the service providers like the cook, priest, and others. Earlier, the maximum ceiling for marriages was 25 and 20 for funerals.

The organiser will have to take prior approval from the competent authority. If anyone violates the restrictions, strong action will be taken against the violator, the official said.

Pradeep Kumar Jena

Jena said that all restrictions imposed by the state government to conduct puja and festivals will remain in force. Besides, curbs on social, religious and political gatherings will continue in the state.

As per the unlock order issued for the month of September, auditoriums/assembly halls/ similar facilities will remain open only for official meetings as per the seating capacity, adhering to the Covid safety protocols. No social, religious, cultural or political gatherings and meetings will be allowed in such facilities.

Library, museum, information centres, cinema halls, auditoriums, and malls will operate from 5 am to 10 pm with full capacity adhering to the COVID-19 norms to avoid the spread of the disease.

The owner of the auditoriums, shops and cinema halls, and malls will be held accountable in the event of a violation of COVID-19 norms by the people in their premises.

No restrictions have been imposed for Covid testing, vaccination and movement of persons/vehicles for Covid testing and vaccination.

During the night curfew, movement of private vehicles, auto-rickshaws, cab aggregators such as Ola, Uber etc. have also been allowed for dropping and picking up passengers to and from airports, railway stations, and bus stands.

Spitting in public places will be punishable with a fine, as prescribed in accordance with the law. Consumption of liquor, paan, gutka, tobacco, and similar products in public places is strictly prohibited.

If required, the concerned district collector, twin city police commissioner and municipal commissioners can impose additional restrictions in their respective areas, as per the order.

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