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Odisha govt. eases COVID-19 restrictions

The Odisha government on Saturday announced graded unlocking process throughout the State beginning August 1.

Following improvement in the COVID-19 situation in the State, the government lifted weekend shutdown restrictions, except at three urban centres such as Bhubaneswar, Cuttack and Puri, and allowed all shops to resume daily business.

The duration of night curfew has also been reduced. The curfew will now be in force across the State from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. instead of the present 6 p.m. to 6 a.m.

“We have decided to allow opening of beaches and parks to visitors. However, wearing masks, maintaining physical distance and using sanitisers have been made mandatory,” special relief commissioner P. K. Jena said here.

Similarly, all malls have been allowed to open with regulated number of customers with strict adherence to COVID-appropriate behaviour. Restaurants, bars and roadside eateries can open with 50% occupancy. Currently, only takeaways are permitted from restaurants.

Under the new unlock strategy, which will remain in force from August 1 to September 1, all cinema halls, theatres, auditorium and assembly halls have been allowed to function with 50% occupancy. Restrictions have been lifted from daily and weekly markets. Street food vendors too can operate.

The government has allowed inter-State and intra-State public transport by buses with seating capacity only.

The district magistrates and municipal commissioners have been authorised to allow public worship in religious places based on local assessment of the situation. The managements of two major temples — Shree Jagannath Temple, Puri, and Shree Lingaraj Temple, Bhubaneswar — have been issued similar direction.

No gatherings

Mr. Jena said all religious, political and cultural gatherings, exhibitions and trade fairs would continue to remain suspended.

Except one day in the past 20 days, the daily infection has remained below the 2,000 mark. Besides, the test positivity rate (TPR) is also found to be below 3%. Only Khordha, Puri and Cuttack districts have a comparatively higher TPR.


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Printable version | Sep 20, 2021 6:01:51 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/odisha-govt-eases-covid-19-restrictions/article35660413.ece

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