Vikash Sharma

With festive season round the corner, the Odisha government on Tuesday announced the Covid unlock guidelines which will be implemented across the State for the month of September.

As per the latest notification, the restrictions/ relaxations will remain in force from September 1 to October 1, 2021 The guidelines have been announced keeping in view the anticipated Covid-19 third wave.

Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) Pradeep Jena said that in view of the drop in daily cases of Covid-19 infections, the State government has decided to relax restrictions to support the livelihood of people. As per the decision, the weekend shutdown which was enforced in Cuttack, Bhubaneswar and Puri has been lifted.

There will be no weekend shutdown in any part of the State during this period, said Jena.

According to Jena, the deadline for closure of shops has been extended from the existing 8 pm to 10 pm. As a result, all shops and commercial establishments across the State can remain open till 10 pm. However,  night curfew restrictions will continue in all urban areas from 10 pm to 5 am across the State.

The night curfew restrictions assume significance to restrict uncessary movement of people in late hours during the upcoming festive season.

Apart from this, marriages, thread Ceremony/Bratopanayan, funerals, last rites and related gatherings with approval from local authorities shall be allowed with a ceiling of 250 persons (for the entire event) including hosts, guests, priests and catering and other support staff with adherence to COVID-19 safety protocols, the order issued by the Special Relief Commissioner stated.

The government has also allowed marriage procession with maximum 50 participants