Holi Amid COVID: What Are the Restrictions? Are Visitors Allowed?
Can you participate in Holi processions? Here’s what different states have said until now.
Amid a rise in COVID-19 cases, state governments across India issued a fresh set of guidelines that must mandatorily be adhered to during Holi, and other upcoming festivals. The Centre too has issued an order, asking the states to be on strict vigil and maintain COVID-appropriate behavior.
The public has been directed to ‘maintain special vigilance and show due diligence.’
Can you still participate in Holi processions? Will schools remain open? Here’s what different states have said until now.
Can I organise a procession to celebrate Holi?
- No event or procession can be organised without prior permission from administrative authorities in Uttar Pradesh.
- In Mumbai, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has placed a complete ban on public functions. There will be night curfew from 8 pm to 7 am.
- In Delhi, the government has announced that public celebrations for upcoming festivals such as Holi, Navratri and gatherings in general would not be permitted.
- In Haryana, the government has also announced a ban on public Holi celebrations.
- The Gujarat government too has banned public celebration of Holi due to the coronavirus situation in the state.
- The Karnataka government has announced that public gatherings for upcoming festivals such as Holi, Shab-e-Barat and Good Friday will be prohibited across the state, including gatherings in public grounds, parks, markets and religious places.
What precautions should be taken at events?
Even after receiving permission, use of masks, adherence of social distancing norms and availability of sanitizers are mandatory at the event or procession.
People older than 60 years of age, younger than 10 years of age, and those suffering from serious illnesses must not be permitted to participate in these events and processions.
Will schools and other educational institutions remain open?
All private and government schools are expected to declare a Holi vacation from 24 to 31 March for students up to class 8 in Delhi-NCR and Uttar Pradesh.
Can I have visitors?
There are no restrictions on having visitors at your home. However, with cases increasing across the country, due diligence is advised.
What if I have a friend visiting or a family member returning from a different state?
- In Delhi, there will be random testing of passengers, coming from other states where COVID-19 cases are increasing, which would be carried out at all airports, railway stations, inter-state bus terminals etc.
- In UP, on the other hand, those visiting or returning from places that have witnessed a significant spike in COVID-19 cases must mandatorily be tested for the virus.
- Those travelling to Karnataka’s capital city Bengaluru by any means of transport will need to carry a negative COVID-19 RT-PCR test report.
What about keeping track of cases and public dissemination of relevant information?
The administration has been asked to conduct a regular review of the COVID-19 situation at integrated command and control centres.
Further, public address system is to be utilised to keep the citizens informed and educated about the COVID-19 situation as well as protocols. For public information purposes, adequate broadcast medium will be made available.
In Karnataka, those who opt for home isolation, will be hand-stamped.
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