New Year celebrations in the country will be muted this year given the restrictions imposed by the state governments in view of the emergence of a new, highly infectious strain of coronavirus.
As the world waits with bated breath for 2020 to slip away and to usher in a hopefully better 2021, Indians have been subjected to a lot of confusion over what they can and cannot do on New Year’s eve.
In many parts of the country, night curfew has been imposed to keep people from gathering in large numbers which could help contain the spread of coronavirus.
State governments have come out with different guidelines for citizens to follow on New Year’s eve.
So what will you be allowed to do and what it is that you cannot do on New Year’s eve? Check out what is it that the government has allowed for you in your cities:
The Bangalore administration has made yet another change to the guidelines for New Year celebrations only hours after saying that the prohibitory orders will be in force from 6.00 pm. The prohibitory orders now will be in force from 12.00 noon on December 31!
Kamal Pant, Bengaluru Commissioner of Police, has in a tweet informed about the restrictions and requested citizens to cooperate and comply with the guidelines:
Section 144 will be imposed across Bengaluru from 12.00 noon on December 31, 2020 to 6 am, January 1, 2021.
Any form of gatherings in public places, main roads, open areas, parks, grounds for the purpose of New Year celebrations is strictly prohibited.
In-house celebrations in residential complexes and private clubs may be held for the residents and members only.
Only those who have booked in advance will be allowed in pubs & restaurants.
All flyovers will be closed for traffic. Major signals and junctions will also be barricaded to regulate traffic across the city.
'No-Man Zones' will be created at MG Road, Church Street, Brigade Road, Koramangala, & Indiranagar. Except for vehicles of essential and emergency services, vehicle movement has been restricted on MG Road, Brigade Road, Church Street, Museum Road, Rest House Park Road and Residency Road.
The restrictions have been put in place to discourage crowds from gathering and motorists going on joy drives. Heavy police deployment has been made to ensure compliance.
Parking of vehicles has also been banned in the CBD area and also on Indiranagar 100 feet road.
Unnecessary traveling, bike wheeling, and loitering on the streets are not allowed.
The Delhi government has imposed a night curfew on December 31 and January 1 from 11 pm to 6 am to avoid large gatherings during New Year celebrations due to COVID-19 and its highly transmissible UK strain. According to an order issued by Delhi Chief Secretary Vijay Dev, the night curfew will also be imposed from 11 pm on January 1 to 6 am on January 2.
It stated that not more than 5 people will be allowed to assemble at public places in Delhi during night curfew to avoid large gatherings in view of COVID-19. However, there will be no restriction on interstate movement of people and goods during night curfew in Delhi, the chief secretary said in the order.
Any function on New Year’s Eve will have to be organised with prior permission from the police. Failing to do so can result in organisers facing a penalty. No terrace/rooftop party can be organised in the city.
In Noida, which is a part of the National Capital Region, the administration has imposed a limit of a 100 people for New Year’s Eve parties. Organisers need to have prior permission for a party at their hotel, club or restaurant.
A detailed set of guidelines will be released by the Delhi Police on December 30.
All the restaurants and pubs will have to close by 11pm as the city has a night curfew till January 5, 2021 from 11pm to 6am. People are allowed to visit the different tourist spots of the city while following Covid-19 protocols. A group of more than four is not allowed and there will be cops to ensure that these tourist attractions don’t get crowded. Parties on terrace and boats are not allowed in the city.
Permission for organising events between December 31 from 8 pm to January 1 till 1 am has been given the state authorities. Events need to be organised with the permission of police.
The Telangana government is focussing on increasing revenue, besides the ban on new year celebrations. Chief Secretary Somesh Kumar issued orders permitting to open wine shops till midnight 12 and the bars till 1 am across the state on the eve of new year celebrations on the request of the Director of the excise department Sarfaraj Ahmed.
While the state government's decision has come as a relief to restro bars and clubs, strict instructions have been given to ensure there is no mass gathering and only those wearing masks are allowed to enter. Even parties within gated communities will have to wrap up by 1 am.
Those driving under the influence of alcohol could face a penalty of Rs 10,000 or land in jail for up to 6 months for the first offence and a penalty of Rs 15,000 or up to 2-year imprisonment for a second or subsequent offence.
The Tamil Nadu government has also banned any celebrations on the eve of welcoming 2021 in Chennai and other main cities and towns across the state as the lockdown is in effect.
All hotels, bars, pubs in Chennai city and other cities and towns will shut at 10 pm on Thursday. No revelries allowed on Marina and policemen are on duty across the city to control people from evening onwards. Temples are to be opened from early morning and only people with masks will be allowed. People with fever or cold will not be allowed inside the temples.
"Celebrations in all star hotels, restaurants, bars, pubs and private resorts will have to be closed by 10 pm on Thursday. All eateries also will have to shut by 10 pm," said a statement from the Chennai police commissioner Mahesh Kumar Aggarwal.
"More than 10,000 policemen will be involved in providing security and also preventing people from coming to Maria. These policemen will be responsible to close the eateries, hotels and pubs by 10 pm," said the statement.
Kerala has issued an order prohibiting all public gatherings as part of New Year celebrations. All celebrations on New Year eve (December 31) should cease by 10pm. Crackers are allowed between December 31 11.55 pm and January 1 12.30 am only.
The Rajasthan government has imposed a night curfew on December 31 in all cities having a population of over one lakh. The restrictions will remain in place from 8 pm on December 31 to 6 am on January 1, according to an order issued by the Home Department. No New Year party will be organised on the occasion while bursting of firecrackers will be banned. According to the order, markets will be closed at 7 pm.
The Calcutta High Court has directed the West Bengal government to ensure that all Covid-19 safety protocols are followed and there is no large gathering in the city for celebrations on the New Year’s eve
The Uttarakhand govt has banned collective celebrations like parties at hotels, bars, restaurants and other public places on New Year's Eve and New Year. The ban will have its effect in Dehradun, Mussoorie and Rishikesh where a large number of tourists come to celebrate Christmas and New Year.
With inputs from News18, The Quint, Agencies