‘Tis the season to be jolly!
However, in view of the rise in COVID-19 cases and the threat of the Omicron variant of coronavirus, many states have got their guard up and playing party pooper for the Christmas and New Year holidays.
If you are in the mood to party, this will guide you in what’s allowed and what’s not.
The Delhi government has banned mass gatherings during Christmas and New Year.
The Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) has instructed all district magistrates to take all required measures in their respective jurisdictions to control the spread of the virus.
The order issued on 22 December, reads: "All DMs and District DCPs shall ensure that no cultural event/gatherings/congregation/take place for celebrating Christmas or New Year in NCT of Delhi."
The DDMA has allowed restaurants, bars, and auditoriums to function at 50 percent capacity while putting a ceiling of 200 people in gatherings related to marriage.
The order added that "Since, wearing of mask is the most important weapon in fight against COVID-19, Residents Welfare Associations should be advised not to allow their residents, shopkeepers and customers without mask in their respective areas/public places".
The DDMA has also officials to conduct surprise checks and take strict penal action against violators as per the law.
Maharashtra, which has a total of 54 Omicron cases to date, has also issued curbs and restrictions till the New Year.
The western state has imposed Section 144 till the midnight of 31 December. In addition, no social gatherings can take place along the beaches or tourist hotspots in the metropolis.
On 21 December, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation, Mumbai's civic body, introduced fresh guidelines saying that up to 50 percent capacity is allowed in closed spaces and 25 percent capacity are allowed in open spaces.
Also, written permission will be required to hold events for the assembly of more than 200 people. The guidelines clearly stated that all the violators will be punished under sections of the Indian Penal Code, 1860, and Disaster Management Act, 2005.
The Karnataka government too has announced restrictions on public celebrations of New Year in the wake of rising cases of Omicron in the state.
Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai said restrictions would be in place from 30 December to 2 January.
The chief minister said that all public gatherings like revellers on MG Road, Brigade Road to welcome the New Year will be banned across Karnataka. He added that there won't be any public celebration and special events in any part of the state.
Clubs and restaurants will be allowed to function at 50 percent capacity. However, no permission will be given to DJ events, New Year parties.
The chief minister added that churches will be allowed to hold prayer meets as per COVID-19 rules.
The Gujarat government has imposed a night curfew till 31 December. It has allowed gyms and restaurants to operate with 75 percent capacity.
The MK Stalin-led government on 14 December imposed a ban on New Year celebrations at all beaches in Chennai, saying no entry and gatherings will be allowed there on 31 December 31 and 1 January.
The government also said the ban on social, cultural and political events will continue till December 31.
Restrictions have also not been imposed in states such as Kerala, Assam, Tripura, Odisha and Rajasthan, though people have been asked to avoid large gatherings and ensure Covid-appropriate behaviour.
With inputs from agencies