Maharashtra announces stricter norms for hotels, cinema halls, offices amid rise in COVID-19 cases

MUMBAI: Cinema halls, hotels, restaurants and offices except those related to health and essential services in Maharashtra will function at 50 percent capacity till March 31, the state government said on Monday.

Violation of norms will result in the shutting down of the establishment as long as the Central government’s notification of the COVID-19 pandemic as a “disaster” is in force, it said.

Nobody will be allowed inside these establishments without wearing a mask and a temperature check, the state government said in a notification as Maharashtra again recorded 15,000-plus new cases of infection on Monday.

Establishments (cinema halls, hotels, offices) will ensure they have enough personnel to enforce the mask rule as well as physical distancing by all visitors.ALSO READ | Ongoing Covid-19 vaccination drive slow, will take years to cover entire population: Parliament panel

These restrictions will be applicable to shopping malls too.

The 50 per cent capacity rule will not apply to offices dealing with health and other essential services.

As far as possible, employees should be asked to work from home, the state notification said.

No social, cultural, religious gatherings will be allowed, while no more than 50 people will be allowed to be present at weddings.

Action will be taken against the owners of premises (such as wedding halls) if these norms are violated, the government said.ALSO READ | PM Modi to interact with chief ministers on Covid-19 situation, vaccination drive on March 16

For the last rites of a person, not more than 20 people will be allowed to be present.

In the case of home isolation, the patient must inform local authorities about the medical professional under whose supervision he or she is.

A board will be put up on the door for 14 days indicating the presence of COVID-19 patient at the location.

Patients will be stamped “home quarantine” on the hand.

If patients violate these norms, they will be shifted to covid care centres.

Management bodies of all religious places have been asked to decide and declare the maximum number of visitors per hour they will allow, depending on the availability of space for movement and gatheringwith proper distancing.