After a new strain of coronavirus was discovered in the United Kingdom, countries all over the world started imposing travel restrictions. Some Indian states took an added precaution by announcing a night curfew. With Christmas and New Year coming up, these states have taken this extra precaution to ensure social distancing norms are followed and the spread of Covid-19 remains checked.
Maharashtra was one of the first states to impose a night curfew once the new strain was discovered. Iqbal Singh Chahal, the commissioner of Mumbai’s civic body BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), said, “This is not a normal new year which is why we cannot have normal celebrations. The curfew is being imposed to ensure that such violations are not repeated”. Chahal further explained the difference between a total lockdown and a night curfew: “While in a lockdown, individuals cannot step out of their homes, in a curfew, more than 5 people cannot assemble outside during the specified hours. So, offices that function overnight or something like dairy transportation can still operate. Taxis, cars and auto-rickshaws will also run just like before.”
The states where night curfew is being strictly imposed includes:-
Karnataka: The state government in Karnataka amended the night curfew timings in the state on Wednesday. The revised curfew will now be imposed from Thursday till January 1 from 11 pm-5 am, the chief minister’s office (CMO) said. Movement of people is prohibited unless for essential activities. Earlier in the day, chief minister B S Yediyurappa had announced that the curfew would be imposed from Wednesday night till January 2 adding that all activities would go on as usual from 6am-10pm but cautioning against venturing out after 10 pm.
Maharashtra: The Maharashtra government has imposed a seven-hour night curfew for 15 days from December 22 to January 5, in all major cities between 11 pm and 6 am to deal with the Covid-19 pandemic. However, offices, taxis, private cars, and auto-rickshaws are allowed to operate in the night following the existing norms.
Gujarat: Ahmedabad administration had imposed night curfew in the city from 9 pm to 6 am in November until further notice. Ahmedabad is the only city in Gujarat where such a curfew has been imposed, amid a sudden spike in new cases during the festive season. Ahmedabad’s night curfew is the only one not imposed in response to the new strain of coronavirus.
Himachal Pradesh: The Jai Ram Thakur government has decided to impose night curfew in Shimla, Mandi, Kangra and Kullu districts. The curbs will remain in place from 10 pm to 6 am till January 5, urban development minister Suresh Bhardwaj said. The state government had decided to impose night curfew from November 23.
Punjab: Chief minister Amarinder Singh on December 11 ordered an extension of the night curfew imposed in all cities and towns till January 1, 2021. Additional restrictions were imposed on gatherings, a total of 100 people can get together for indoor festivities and 250 individuals for outdoor ones, during non-curfew hours in the state. The government had earlier imposed a night curfew from December 1 to December 15.
Manipur: The Manipur government has imposed a night curfew in the state from 6pm to 4am starting from the end of November till the end of this year to control the spread of coronavirus. The government has also restricted ceremonial gatherings to 20 people or less.
Rajasthan: The Rajasthan government on Wednesday imposed a night curfew on December 31 in all cities with a population of over one lakh, reported PTI. Restrictions will remain in place from 8 pm on December 31 to 6 am on January 1, bursting of fire crackers on New Year’s eve have also been banned by the government. Markets were also ordered to close by 7 pm.