West Bengal extends Covid restrictions until January 31, allowing marriage events with 200 people. Check details | Kolkata

West Bengal on Saturday extended coronavirus-related restrictions until January 31, PTI news agency reported, citing an official order. While most restrictions remain in place in accordance with the previous order issued on January 2, the Congress-led Trinamool state government has provided some easing.

The government has allowed marriages to be held with a maximum of 200 people or 50 percent of venue capacity – whichever is less, the official order revealed. Moreover, exhibitions were also allowed in open ground with strict restrictions in order to maintain adherence to safety standards.

The order was given by the Secretary of the Bengal President Hong Kong Dwivedi. It has directed the police, local authorities and county departments to ensure that the standards are strictly adhered to.

The state government said in its new order that the decision to extend the Covid-related restrictions was made in light of the Omicron variant of the virus. India has detected 6,041 cases of Omicron so far.

The latest order issued by the Government of West Bengal was issued by the Chief Trustee of Hong Kong Dwivedi. (Photo/West Bengal government website)

Notably, the restrictions issued earlier in Bengal were supposed to expire on Saturday (January 15).

The latest announcement comes as West Bengal on Friday saw a marginal drop in its Covid-19 toll for a day after 22,645 individuals tested positive for the disease, down from 23,467 on Thursday, according to government health bulletin data. The decline came after the country recorded a massive rise in the number of daily Covid-19 cases over the past few days.

Here’s a better look at what will be allowed and what won’t follow the latest West Bengal government order.

Will outdoor activities be allowed?

Allowed but with restrictions. The government has imposed a night curfew in Bengal from January 3, whereby all forms of outdoor activities along with movement of people and vehicles between 10pm and 5am will be banned. However, essential and emergency services are excluded.

Will marriage jobs be allowed?

Weddings can be held with a maximum of 200 attendees or 50 percent of the venue’s capacity, whichever is less. In a circular issued earlier on January 2, the state government limited the attendees at marriage-related ceremonies at 50.

Will the offices work?

All state offices will continue to operate at 50 percent capacity, as will private offices. The state government has asked to encourage working from home “as much as possible”.

Will schools, colleges and universities open?

All educational institutions, including schools, colleges and universities, will remain closed. However, administrative activities are only allowed at 50 percent of capacity at a time.

Will restaurants and cinemas open?

Restaurants, bars, movie theaters and theaters can operate at 50 percent capacity at a time. However, all these establishments on the day must be closed by 10pm before the night curfew begins each day.

Will entertainment venues, markets and shopping centers remain open?

In the previous order of January 2, the government of TMC led by Mamata Banerjee in Bengal ordered the closure of all swimming pools, spas, beauty parlors, salons, health centers, zoos and tourist sites, among others.

However, markets and malls can operate with an entry capacity of up to 50 per cent as early as 10pm in compliance with the nighttime curfew.

Will metro and local trains be available?

Metro services will be available with a seating capacity of 50 percent as per the usual operating time. Local trains will also follow the similar protocol and can run until 10pm.

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