Put Xmas, New Year party plans on hold


Clubs, pubs and restaurants can function as usual, but big gatherings have been banned

In the light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the State government has banned special parties, dance programmes, and gatherings among other public events from December 20, 2020, till January 2, 2021.

This puts to rest speculations over whether or not parties organised around Christmas and New Year in Bengaluru city and elsewhere in the State will be held this year. Big gatherings to celebrate New Year in public places and roads, where maintaining social distance is difficult, has also been banned.

The prohibition on hosting parties in clubs, pubs, restaurants, and open places, where a large number of people are likely to gather, came through an order of Chief Secretary T.M. Vijaybhaskar on Thursday that sets the guidelines for Christmas and New Year celebrations. The order, however, said clubs, pubs and restaurants can open and function as usual.

The Chief Secretary’s order is in tune with the Ministry of Home Affairs order of November 25, which was followed by the State government order of November 27, both of which pointed out that there is a need to keep the celebration simple. The two orders had banned parties in public places, housing complexes and places where big gatherings were likely.

No handshakes, hugs

While asking churches where big crowds are likely during Christmas to maintain social distance, the order has also banned handshakes and hugs during the festival. The order equips Police Commissioners and Deputy Commissioners to increase curbs on identified public places and roads.

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Asking those above 65 years and children below 10 years to remain at home, the order said that as per the November 21 order, maintaining social distance, wearing face masks, and use of thermal scanning and sanitisers at hotels, malls, pubs, restaurants, and similar places remain compulsory.

The order has asked owners of hotels, pubs, restaurants, and malls to have an online pre-booking facility to prevent crowding.

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Sagar Biswas

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