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Vikash Sharma

In view of the rising cases of Omicron, the new Covid-19 variant of concern, the Odisha government on Friday imposed fresh restrictions which will remain in force from December 25 to January 2, 2022.

As per the guidelines, Christmas celebrations shall be limited to churches with a maximum of 50 persons joining the mass by strictly following the Covid protocols and in the specific conditions as imposed by district magistrates/ municipal commissioners while permitting such mass, if any.

Similarly, Zero Night , welcome to New Year in hotels, clubs, restaurants, parks convention halls, kalyan mandaps is completely banned across the State.

In the latest notification issued by the Special Relief Commissioner (SRC), clear instructions have been issued to district Collectors, Municipal Commissioners and Commissionerate Police to take all possible measures to enforce the guidelines.

It is pertinent to mention here that the State government had earlier imposed restrictions on religious festivals, other festivals and functions for containment of Covid-19 with effect from December 1, 2021 to 5 am of January 1, 2022.

“And whereas, within a matter of few days the new Covid variant B.1.1529 or Omicron has been the cause of concern for the state as it has been detected in Odisha. The government of India has identified fourteen as ‘at risk’ countries and mandated home isolation for all who arrive from these countries and are Covid negative in airport screening,” the notification read.

Here are the following restrictions from December 25, 2021 to January 2, 2022

-Christmas celebration shall be limited to Churches with a maximum of 50(fifty) persons joining the mass by strictly following COVID protocols and in terms of specific conditions as imposed by District Magistrates/Municipal Commissioners/ Local Authorities while permitting such mass, if any.

- Zero Night celebration, Welcome to New Year in hotels, clubs, restaurants, parks, convention halls, Kalyan Mandaps, etc. is completely banned across the State.

- No celebration other than marriage (but not receptions and ancillary functions) is allowed across the State.

- Funeral rites is allowed with due COVID-19 protocols

. -There shall be strict vigilance on crowding and gathering during the above occasions.

-No community feast is also allowed.

- No social gathering, rallies, orchestras, dances and other cultural programmes shall be permitted.

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