All thanks to daily COVID-19 cases shattering the 50K mark in Maharashtra, the Maharashtra government announced weekend lockdowns, night curfews and multiple restrictions on Sunday to curb COVID-19 spike. The move comes after multiple warnings given by Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray and Mumbai Governor Kishori Pednekar that they would be left with no choice but to impose restrictions as citizens of Maharashtra are not observing COVID-19 safety protocols.

Also read: Maharashtra CM hints at lockdown in Mumbai amid the COVID-19 spike

Maharashtra COVID-19 Restrictions: Night Curfews and Weekend Lockdowns

According to new guidelines, Maharashtra would see a state-wide night curfew imposed from 8 AM to 7 AM. Additionally, citizens will also have to abide by the state-wide weekend lockdown that will be effective from Friday 8 PM to Monday 7 AM.

Maharashtra COVID-19 Restrictions: What will be open and what will be shut?

Here is a list of services that will be shut during the state-wide COVID-19 restrictions in Maharashtra:

  • Malls, restaurants, bars and eateries will be partially shut and only takeaways and deliveries will continue to operate.
  • Private offices are advice to shift to the WFH (work from home) model.
  • Places of religion, gymnasiums, amusement parks, parks, playgrounds, salons, parlors, and beaches will be completely closed to avoid any kind of crowding.
  • Theatres and drama premises have been asked to be closed.
  • Political rallies are completely banned.

Maharashtra COVID-19 Restrictions: Here is a list of services that will be partially allowed to operate:

  • Government offices are asked to function at just 50%.
  • Film shoots and television shoots are permitted following the fact that the people involved are ensuring all COVID-19 safety norms.
  • Shops that provide essential services inside a mall will be allowed to operate.
  • No restrictions have been introduced for trains and flights. Public transport is allowed to operate at 50% of the vehicle capacity.
  • Industrial activities, construction operations, e-commerce operations and farming are allowed to function with all COVID-19 safety norms in place.

Maharashtra COVID-19 Restrictions: The state of public commute

As of today, the new restriction guidelines state that public transport in Maharashtra is allowed to run at only 50% capacity with fines imposed in the cases of violations. Auto rickshaws are allowed to ferry a maximum of 2 passengers (excluding the driver). Taxis too are allowed to operate at 50% of the vehicle capacity. In the case of a passenger not wearing a mask, the driver of the taxi or auto and the passenger, both will be fined Rs. 500 each.

Meanwhile, buses are allowed to operate with a full seating occupancy but there will not be any standing passengers on board. A fine of Rs. 500 will be imposed to an offender in the case of violation of social distancing norm or not wearing a mask in the bus.

The state has asked all the drivers of auto-rickshaws and buses to get vaccinated as early as possible. This is due to the fact that drivers come into a direct contact with public. Till the time drivers are not vaccinated, they would need to carry a negative COVID-19 certificate that will be valid for 15 days. Note that this rule will come into effect from 10th of April.

Maharashtra COVID-19 Restrictions: Delivery of essentials

The new guidelines suggest that owners of shops with essential products or services should get vaccinated as soon as possible. The shops should also get their employees vaccinated as per the criteria. Moreover, the shops should have protection measures like shield between customers and shop owners, online payment facility, etc.

The people who are serving as home delivery personnel would also need to be vaccinated as soon as possible. Till they are not vaccinated, they would need to carry a negative COVID-19 certificate that will be valid till 15 days, much akin to public transport drivers.

Essential services include hospitals, pharmacies, other health services; groceries, dairies, confectionaries, bakeries, food shops; transport including trains, autos and busies; services related to offices of diplomats, other public services by local authorities; transportation of goods and agriculture-related goods, e-commerce, and more.

Maharashtra had to impose these state-wide restrictions in the wake of consistent every day 50k+ cases recently. On Sunday, the state reported over 57,000 new cases-it’s highest one-day surge since the pandemic began in March last year. The state’s current toll stands at 4,30,503 active cases.