The coronavirus-induced lockdown has been extended in the union territory of Puducherry till January 2, 2022. The state executive committee (SEC) of the Disaster Management Committee here announced the extension of the lockdown on Wednesday night. A release from the SEC said although the number of new COVID-19 cases were coming down in the union territory now, there was still a need to keep vigil to contain transmission of the virus and the lockdown has therefore been extended from midnight last till January 2.
The nighttime curfew would be in force from 11 PM to 5 AM every day. However, the nighttime curfew has been relaxed completely on the eve of Christmas (December 24) and on Christmas day (Dec 25).
The release said that the nighttime curfew would be relaxed on December 30, 31, and on January 1 up to 2 AM in view of the new year. The curfew would be in force on these days from 2 AM to 5 AM.
Social entertainment-related gatherings are prohibited but they would be permitted on December 24, December 30, and 31 and on New Year day (January 1) subject to adherence to Covid appropriate behavior.
Restaurants, hotels, bars and liquor shops, and hospitality sector establishments would be permitted to operate subject to adherence to the Covid protocols. With the prior approval of licensing authority restaurants and hotels can function beyond normal hours on the eve of New Year, the release said.
Religious places and other places of worship would be permitted to remain open for the public to offer prayers and darshan and to perform 'archana' up to 10 PM every day.
Churches will however be permitted to remain open for the public for prayers after 10 PM on the eve of Christmas (December 24) and on Christmas day after 10 PM. All places of worship would be permitted to remain open for prayers after 10 PM on the eve of New Year (December 31), the release said. Wedding celebration would be permitted in religious institutions with a maximum of 25 invitees at any point of time, it was stated.
The release said that gatherings at marriages would be permitted subject to the condition that the number of guests does not exceed 100 at any point in time. The number of persons turning up at funerals to pay last respects should also not exceed 20.
The Health Department should maintain close watch and surveillance on those coming from foreign countries in view of the threat posed by the new variant of Covid- Omicron.
There would be no restriction on the working time of the petrol bunks, banks, ATM centers, internet services, telecommunication, and other essential services. The shooting of films or TV serials would be permitted subject to the condition that there should be a maximum of 100 people. All cinemas, theatres, and multiplexes would be permitted to function with full capacity up to 12.30 AM with adherence to Covid norms.