Corona curfew to continue on every weekend

File Photo: Aman Farooq/GK

J&K government on Sunday ordered that there will be complete weekend ‘Corona’ curfews within municipal, urban local body limits in all 20 districts of the UT from 7:00 pm every Friday till 7:00 am every Monday.

However, as per guidelines and instructions, issued by the State Executive Committee (SEC), on COVID containment measures in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir, which will take effect from today, no Deputy Commissioner or any subordinate Magistrate would impose any local lockdown, outside notified Containment Zones.

They cannot do so without prior consultation with the State Executive Committee and following the orders and guidelines issued by MHA, Government of India. “Complete Corona night curfew shall be imposed within municipal/urban local body limits in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir every weekend in all 20 districts w.e.f. 7:00 pm each Friday till 7:00 am each Monday. There shall be a complete ‘Corona’ curfew with no movement of people except for permissible activities only. Essential & emergency services, movement, work and essential supplies shall remain exempted, subject to production of wedding cards/ID cards etc,” read the order issued by SEC chairperson Chief Secretary B V R Subrahmanyam.

As per the guidelines, all paid public parks in the UT will continue to remain closed for visitors till further orders. Similarly there will be no change in the guidelines earlier issued in case of public transport and staggered schedules of markets. Religious places, places of worship will continue to remain open for the public, subject to the SOP already issued in this regard. “Public transport (matadors/mini-buses/ buses etc) in J&K will be permitted to ply only at 50 percent of its authorized seating capacity. The District Superintendents of Police shall ensure compliance to this effect. Only 50 percent shops in major market complexes/Bazaars/Malls within the Municipal limits/urban local body limits shall be open on alternate basis through a rotation system. District magistrates of all districts shall devise a pattern to implement this preferably in consultation with local market associations,” read the order.

As per the guidelines, the ceiling on the number of people permitted to attend gatherings, functions will be 20 in case of funerals and 50 for all other kinds of gatherings, whether indoors or at outdoor venues.

“The existing guidelines and SOPs in place for compulsory testing of all incoming passengers, travellers to J&K shall be strictly enforced. Everyone will have to compulsorily undergo a COVID-19 Rapid Antigen Test as prescribed by the protocol in use and may be subjected to quarantine if necessary. Persons above 65 years of age, persons with co-morbidities, pregnant women, and children below the age of 10 years, shall take extra precautions,” the order further read.

As per the guidelines, wholesalers, fruit & Sabzi mandis may also remain open as necessary in a regulated manner to ensure provisioning of essential supplies. “All Shopping Complexes,   Bazaars,   Saloons, Barber shops, Cinema Halls,  Restaurants & Bars, Sport Complexes, Gyms, Spas, Swimming Pools, Parks, Zoos, etc, shall remain closed. Restaurants in hotels can remain functional for in-house guests, to be served only in the rooms. Religious and social gatherings such as marriages, attended by up to 50 persons only, whether indoors or outdoors, and funerals, last rites attended by up to 20 persons only, are allowed. There will be no hindrance to the smooth movement of goods and essential supplies, nomads migrating with herds, Darbar Move Officials/staff and other products like   agricultural/horticultural goods, on the National & State Highways,” the order read. New guidelines say that there will be no restriction on interstate and intra state movement of essential goods. All industrial and scientific establishments, both public and private, are allowed to operate for production purposes, or otherwise. Internet services, IT, Telecom, IT enabled services’ sector, including e-Commerce are permitted. “There shall be no restriction on the movement of government officials for attending office/ duties, on production of l-cards/ official orders. All development/ construction works shall be allowed to continue without any hindrance. The District Magistrate may issue passes wherever necessary. The vaccination drive shall not be halted. Localized mobile teams shall   be constituted to provide vaccination in colonies, residential areas and containment zones. District Magistrates will issue orders to this effect under Sec 144, CrPC,” the guidelines specify. In addition, District Magistrates may take additional local preventive measures such as not allowing assemblies/processions; notifying micro containment zones for checking spike in infections in their respective districts, etc. Necessary orders in this regard may be issued under the DM Act, CrPC. The Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs)/ guidelines/instructions issued by the J&K SEC from time to time (available on the website (www.jkqad.nic.in) shall remain applicable in all the districts, the order further read.