News Karnataka
Friday, June 02 2023

Guidelines to curb New Year eve revelry in Bengaluru soon

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Bengaluru: With Karnataka withdrawing night curfew hours before enforcing it on Thursday up to January 2, Covid-induced guidelines to restrict New Year eve revelry on December 31 would be issued soon, state Home Minister Basavaraj Bommai said on Friday.

“Though the night curfew has been withdrawn, the city police commissioner will soon announce guidelines to prevent large gatherings in public places and crowding in bars, pubs and restaurants to ensure physical distancing for containing the virus spread,” Bommai told reporters here.

In accordance with the standard operating procedures (SOPs) of the Union Home Ministry and the guidelines of the Union Health Ministry, the state government has already banned revellers from gathering in large numbers on New Year’s eve in the city’s downtown, especially on MG Road and Brigade Road, where revellers throng to usher in the New Year.

In a notification dated December 17, state Chief Secretary T.M. Vijaya Bhaskar barred special DJ events, dance parties and other celebrations across the state from December 30 to January 2 to prevent the revellers from crowding and jostling in violation of the social distancing norms.

Handshakes and hugs have also been barred to minimise contact between the revellers. Wearing mask and sanitising hands have been made compulsory.

“Security will be strengthened and vigil will be enhanced with the deployment of additional police personnel in public places, markets, shopping malls and theatres to avoid revellers from jostling,” said Bommai.

Though Covid cases have been declining in the city, which accounts for 50 per cent of the southern state’s caseload, experts fear a second wave of the virus due to cold weather and violation of virus-induced guidelines by the citizens.

“Citizens can have the New Year eve bash in their homes and residential areas by wearing a mask, maintaining physical distancing and sanitising their hands to ensure their safety in pandemic times,” added Bommai.

State Revenue Minister R. Ashok recently said that though it was customary for the people to celebrate the event on the last night of every year, the virus had devastated the country over the last 9 months. The occasion should be observed solemnly and in the memory of those who lost the battle against the pandemic.

A technical advisory committee, set up by the state government to contain the pandemic, said in a report that people have to strictly follow the guidelines in December and January to prevent the second wave of infections in the city and the state.

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