Suryakant Jena

The Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) on Friday issued a list of guidelines to be strictly followed by people during the Christmas and New Year festivities in the light of Odisha government's fresh restrictions to check surge in cases of infections by Omicron variant of SARS-CoV-2.

With a view to protect the health of public and prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus, including the newly detected highly contagious variant of concern, due to congregation of large number of citizens during the revelries, the following stipulations have been imposed on 25th December 2021 and December 31, 2021, to January 2, 2022, for adherence by all concerned within BMC Jurisdiction.

Christmas Celebration:- 

  1. The Church authority shall ensure that there are as many participants inside the church so that social distancing of 6 ft is maintained among them along with all other COVID appropriate behaviour like proper wearing of Mask, Hand hygiene etc. However, in no case, the total number of participants shall exceed 50. 
  2. Person who has been administered with both the COVID vaccine doses will be allowed inside the church. 
  3. The church authority shall make provision of thermal screening outside the church and ensure that no symptomatic person is allowed inside the church. 
  4. BMC shall install COVID RAT testing facility outside each church and only those who are negative will be allowed inside the church. 

New Year Celebrations:-

  1. Zero Night Celebration, New Year welcome in hotels, restaurants, Clubs, Parks, Convention halls, Kalyan Mandaps or other such places is completely banned. 
  2. Picnics/Community feasts at public places are prohibited. 
  3. Citizens are advised to celebrate within their home premises with no mass gatherings by adhering to all COVID-appropriate behaviour. 

Other Curbs:-

  1. Funeral rites allowed with due COVID-19 protocols. 
  2. Other than marriage (but not reception and ancillary functions) any other celebration/congregation is strictly prohibited. 
  3. However on these dates, if BMC has issued permission for events like marriage/death rituals etc., the stipulations mentioned above to be strictly adhered. 
  4. No social gatherings, rallies, orchestras, dances or other cultural programmes shall be allowed.