Assam tightens COVID curbs; prepones night curfew, shop closure timings


The Assam State Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA) on Tuesday issued revised and consolidated directives on containment of the COVID-19 pandemic, preponing night curfew by two hours and closure of shops and commercial establishments by four hours.

Night curfew, which was earlier imposed from 8pm, will from Wednesday be clamped from 6pm to 5am, while all shops, restaurants and other commercial establishments will be closed at 2pm.

“Total restrictions on movement of persons at public places shall be imposed from 6pm to 5am on all days except for persons engaged in essential and emergency services. District magistrates and Commissioner of Police, Guwahati will issue orders under Cr.PC (Section 144) to the same effect,” the revised order (issued in supersession of earlier orders on April 30, 2021) stated.

“Restaurants, dhabas and other eateries can entertain dine-in guests only up to 2pm. Takeaway including home delivery of food is allowed till 6pm after which only home delivery of food will be allowed,” the order said.

Restaurants operating within a hotel or resort can allow outside guests up to 2pm only. However, in-house guests of the hotel/resort may be allowed to dine in up to the usual time of operation.

“All offices, private and government, shall shut down at 2pm on all days. This will not apply for organisations rendering essential and emergency services, law enforcing services and election work,” it stated.

The order stated that no meeting / gathering at any open or closed spaces shall be allowed.

“For marriages, only the religious part will be allowed with a presence of a maximum of 20 persons. No reception parties will be allowed before or after the marriage,” the order stated.

At all religious places, congregations of not over five persons shall be allowed.

Delivery of essential goods through e-commerce may continue with observance of COVID appropriate behaviour. Cold storages and warehouses may continue after 2pm.

“However, sale counters, showrooms, etc. attached to these warehouses or cold storages shall not operate after 2pm,” the order stated.

The State Level Empowered Committee chaired by the chief secretary has issued subsequently these directives upon review of the overall COVID-19 situation in the state.

The order will come into force from 5am of May 5, 2021 and will remain in force until further orders.

“Further, the district magistrates will declare an area or a city or district or well-defined parts thereof as containment zones if the test positivity of COVID-19 in such areas reaches 10 percent or more in the last one week or bed occupancy either oxygen supported or ICU beds crosses 60 percent,” it stated.

In the event of a declaration of containment zones, the districts have been directed to enforce strict restrictions as per directives issued by the Union health ministry on April 25, 2021.

(Edited by Christopher Gatphoh)

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