West Bengal extends COVID-19 restrictions till August 15 with some relaxations

The administration has allowed government programmes at indoor facilities with 50 percent seating capacity and buses, taxis, autorickshaws to ply with 50 percent capacity

West Bengal extends COVID-19 curbs: Find out what's allowed and what's not

Representational image. News18

Kolkata: In preparation for a possible third wave of COVID-19 infections, the West Bengal government on Thursday extended existing restrictions till 15 August, but with certain relaxations. The restrictions, imposed on 16 May, were last extended till 30 July.

“After a review of the current situation of COVID pandemic. State Executive Committee of West Bengal State Disaster Management Authority recommended further extension of restriction measures as already in force with graded and calibrated approach to relaxations as required” the government notification read.

The West Bengal government’s decision comes in the wake of the Union home secretary Ajay Bhalla writing letters to the chief secretaries of all states and administrators of Union Territories (UT), asking them to regulate crowded places.

As per the existing guidelines —

  • All outdoor activities including the movement of people and vehicles will remain strictly prohibited between 9 pm and 5 am.
  • All schools/colleges/universities/ polytechnics/ Anganwadi centers and other educational/ academic institutions shall continue to remain closed.
  • All offices, both government and private, are allowed to function with half the manpower.
  • Movement of public transport including intra-state (inter-district) government and private buses, inland waterways transport, trams, local taxis, cabs and autorickshaws will be allowed with passengers not more than 50 percent of seating capacity at a time, subject to vaccination of drivers and other staff, regular sanitization of vehicle and mandatorily wearing of masks by all users.
  • Intrastate local train movement shall remain closed except for staff special trains for movement of emergency and
    essential services personnel.
  • Metro railway service shall operate 5 days a week with 50 percent seating capacity and shall remain suspended on Saturdays and Sundays. Regular sanitization of the metro, wearing of masks and appropriate COVID compliant discipline by passengers shall be ensured by the metro authorities and the local administration.
  • All cinema halls, spa and swimming pools shall continue to remain closed.
  • All political /social /cultural/ academic / entertainment-related gatherings, groupings and congregations shall continue to be prohibited.
  • All government programmes at indoor facilities can continue with 50 percent seating capacity
  • Funeral rituals shall be allowed with not more than 20 persons at a time.

Meanwhile, district administrations have been asked to ensure strict compliance with directives related to the wearing of masks and social distancing. “Any violation of the restriction measures will be liable to be proceeded against as per the provisions of the Disaster Management Act, 2005 and relevant sections of the IPC,” the order stated.

West Bengal has registered 815 fresh COVID-19 cases in the last 24 hours and 14 deaths.

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