Bengal Government Extends COVID Curbs Till 30 October, but Eases for Durga Puja

Restriction on movement of people between 11 pm and 5 am has been relaxed between 10 October and 20 October.

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<div class="paragraphs"><p>File photo of voters undergoing thermal scanning, as precaution against COVID-19, while waiting to cast votes at a polling station, during the first phase of West Bengal Assembly elections, at Sirshi in Jhargram. Image used for representation only.</p></div>

Considering the threat of a possible third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, the West Bengal government on Thursday extended the COVID-19 restrictions and night curfew till 30 October.

However, in view of the Durga Puja celebrations, restriction on movement of people between 11 pm and 5 am has been relaxed between 10 October and 20 October.


No Entry for Visitors Inside Durga Puja Pandals

All outdoor activities, including movement of people and vehicles, shall continue to be strictly prohibited between 11 pm and 5 am, except for health services, law and order, essential services and other emergency purposes. However, in view of the ensuing festive period, the said restriction will be relaxed between 10 October and 20 October, the order said.

Last year’s order by Calcutta High Court will be followed this year as well and no entry will be allowed into Durga puja pandals in West Bengal. For big puja pandals, 25 puja committee members will be allowed, while for smaller puja pandals, 12 puja committee members will be allowed inside.

A public interest litigation (PIL) was filed in the Calcutta High Court on Thursday urging it to reissue its 19 October order related to the curbs on Durga Puja this year.

Howrah resident Ajay Kumar Dey moved the PIL.

Last year, the court had urged people to take virtual tours of pandals and had declined to entertain a government plea for a "stay of operation" on the order.

"The COVID situation is better this time and we hope that people will get some liberty to enjoy during the Durga Puja. The state government will make all arrangements to ensure that the COVID guidelines are strictly followed. The organisers will also be instructed to maintain the Covid protocols," a senior state government official said, according to IANS.

(With inputs from IANS.)

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