Shimla (Himachal Pradesh) [India], January 9 (ANI): Himachal Pradesh government on Sunday tightened its COVID-19 restrictions as infections in the state continue to escalate following which all government offices will remain closed on weekends.
Further, the state government banned all social, religious gatherings in the state.
“Considering the recent surge in COVID-19 cases across the State and after witnessing the current situation of the COVID-19 pandemic which requires strict measures in order to contain its spread.
Therefore, in the exercise of the powers conferred under the Section 22(2)(h) and Section 24 of the Disaster Management Act 2005, the undersigned in the capacity of the Chairman, State Executive Committee (SEC), hereby directs that consolidated guidelines shall be in force in addition to the directions already issued by SEC w.e.f. 6 AM of 10 January, 2022 to 6 am of 24 January, 2022,” the order copy said.
All the offices of Government Departments, PSUs, local bodies, Autonomous Bodies including the HP Secretariat will remain closed on Saturdays and Sundays (5 working days a week) and these offices will operate with 50 per cent attendance in working days.
These restrictions will not be on offices dealing with an emergency or essential services such as health, police, fire, banks, electricity, water & sanitation, public transport, telecom, Excise, Budget and related incident services/activities etc.
Head of Departments (HODs), Controlling officers shall issue roster orders accordingly. However, the High Court of Himachal Pradesh will issue separate orders with respect to the High Court and all other judicial offices.
The order copy said that all social and religious gatherings shall be completely banned in the state.
Other gatherings, congregations like academic, sports, entertainment, cultural, political are permitted up to 50 per cent of the capacity, subject to maximum of 100 persons in indoor built up/covered areas (whichever is lower) and in open spaces/outdoor areas permitted up to 50 per cent of the capacity, subject to 300 persons (whichever is lower).
A prior intimation of gatherings shall be given to the District/Sub Divisional Administration and local administration can impose additional conditions upon the organizers, as deemed fit, in the context of the local COVID situation. There shall be strict observance of COVID-19 appropriate behavior and safety protocols during these congregations/gatherings.
Along with religious places, places of worship there will be a total ban on Langar, community kitchens, dhaams in all places in the state.
For fixing the timings of the shops, markets or staggering schedule of their openings, closing, respective District Magistrates are authorized to take decisions on this behalf after taking note of COVID-19 situations and specific requirements of their districts.
District Administration shall be competent to deploy any government employee who are otherwise not performing any duties or not coming to their offices because of the directions by any authority, and depute them for any duty relating to vaccination, surveillance, monitoring of persons under home isolation, manning the check posts, making data entry or monitoring, calling home isolated patients, etc. as per requirements to contain the spread of COVID-19 pandemic.
Notably, Himachal is the first fully vaccinated state in the country. 728 Covid cases were logged on Saturday as per the health bulletin.
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