With Covid-19 cases surging in the state, the Maharashtra government on Saturday issued details of the new restrictions it was imposing: prohibiting gatherings of more than five people in public places from 8pm to 7am from Saturday midnight across the state and putting public places like gardens, beaches and seafronts out of bounds between 8pm to 7 am.
All cinema halls, malls, restaurants and auditoriums will also remain shut from 8pm to 7am. However, home delivery and takeaways from restaurants will be allowed as per the existing timings. The state government extended the lockdown, which was in place in the state, and the new curbs till April 15.
Officials said there has been no change in shops timings, though local administrations have been empowered to take decisions in their areas as per their conditions, with permission from the chief secretary.
Every person found violating the new norms will be penalised Rs.1,000.
Establishments found violating the time restrictions or other guidelines will be shut down till the time Covid-19 continues to be notified as a pandemic, the state notification said. Penalties will also be levied under the Disaster Management Act. Penalties will also be levied under the Disaster Management Act.
Hoteliers’ associations and malls’ representatives felt the fresh state order was akin to a full lockdown as it would badly hit evening shopping and the dine-in business.
The state has also fixed the penalty to be levied on people without a mask at Rs.500. With this, there is uniformity in fines across the state, and Rs.1,000 is the fine for people found spitting in public places. To decrowd government offices, apart from elected representatives, other visitors will not be allowed without urgent work. And in that case, special passes will be issued by the department concerned.
With the Centre pointing out that home isolation norms are being violated, the state has asked patients opting for home isolation to give their doctor’s information to local authorities, and it will be the doctor’s responsibility to ensure all norms are being followed and in case of a violation, the doctor should immediately intimate the authorities and withdraw his consent to supervise the patient. The state has also extended existing restrictions.