In order to contain the fast spread of the infection in the state, the Assam government on Tuesday, 20 April, released an order stating several new restrictions as an emergency measure. The directives issued will be imposed with immediate effect and remain in force till 30 April.
Any person not wearing a face mask and/or spitting in a public place shall be fined Rs 1,000 by the district-wise task force. The deputy commissioners will enforce the given restrictions in those districts where the number of active COVID-19 cases is 100 or more.
Here’s everything you need to know:
Are public gatherings allowed?
- Any open function will be allowed after taking permission from the district authority subject to strict adherence to COVID-appropriate behaviours. Assessing the open space, gathering of only 50 percent of its capacity or 400 persons, whichever is lower, will be allowed.
- All market places, including shops in malls and weekly markets will be closed by 6 pm.
- In closed venues, gatherings up to 50 percent of the seating capacity will be allowed.
- No standing audience will be allowed at either of the venues.
- Number of guests at private events such as weddings at private venues will be restricted to 100.
- Not more than 20 people will be allowed at a funeral.
- Religious places will be allowed to operate with 20 persons per hour.
Will people be asked to work from home?
- Except officers, only 50 percent of workforce is allowed in offices. However, this does not apply to essential/emergency services, law enforcement services, and election work.
- Work from home and virtual working will be encouraged. Pregnant women or women with children of five years of age or below will be allowed to work from home.
- Social distancing to be ensured through different work shifts, staggering lunch breaks, etc.
What about schools?
- Quality virtual options must be provided for all educational institutions.
- Not more than 50 percent of students should attend in person on any day.
Will public transport continue to function?
- No passenger shall be allowed to travel standing in the vehicle.
- All buses will be allowed to operate with 50 percent of seating capacity.
- Auto-rickshaws, cycle-rickshaws and taxis will have one driver and maximum two passengers maintaining social distancing.
What are some other guidelines?
- Wearing of face mask in public places is compulsory.
- Shop owners to ensure a six-feet distance between themselves and the customers. They are also to make sure that no more than five people are there in the shop.
- Industrial units and tea gardens may continue functioning as long as COVID guidelines are followed.
- Barber shops and salons, too, will continue to function as long as COVID-appropriate behaviour is ensured.
On Sunday, Assam reported 639 new COVID-19 cases, taking the positivity rate to 2.74 percent. The state registered six deaths on Sunday. Assam reported 1,367 new COVID-19 cases, 312 recoveries, and 7 deaths on Monday, 19 April.