Karnataka has banned public celebrations and mass gatherings to mark the new year in the wake of the threat of COVID-19 and Omicron variant of the virus. The restrictions will be enforced from December 30 to January 2 to ensure that new year revelry does not lead to spread of COVID-19 or the Omicron variant of the virus.
The decision was taken at a high-level meeting of ministers, officials and experts convened by Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai in Belagavi on December 21.
Briefing mediapersons after the meeting, the Chief Minister said the new year revelry had been banned following recommendation from experts. “Apart from celebrations, public gatherings too have been banned throughout the State,” he said, specifically making it clear that no mass gatherings would be allowed on M.G. Road and Brigade Road for new year celebrations.
Restaurants and clubs have been barred from holding new year parties or any special events, like music and dance programmes, to mark the new year. However, they have been allowed to function at 50% of their capacity with strict adherence to COVID-19 protocals.
Two doses of vaccination would be mandatory for entry to clubs and the staff have to undergo RT-PCR test, Mr. Bommai said.
Apartment complexes too are barred from holding any new year party. The Chief Minister said that the responsibility of ensuring adherence to COVID-19 regulations and protocol would be on the residents’ welfare associations of apartments.
Mr. Bommai said no specific guidelines had been issued with respect to Christmas as the mass would be held indoors.