Mumbai: With the detection of a new variant of Coronavirus in the UK and the arrival of hundreds of passengers from Europe — many of whom have tested positive — the Maharashtra government is treading with great caution with respect to New Year revelry.

It has already imposed night curfew from December 22 to January 5, but that can only be a deterrent, at best. Back to the wall, the Maharashtra Government on Monday issued guidelines urging citizens to have simple and low key celebrations on December 31, mostly by staying cooped up indoors.

At the same time, not wanting to create a scare and dampen the festive spirit, the state government has clarified that there will not be a day curfew on December 31.

But the night curfew will be strictly enforced from 11 pm to 6 am, which prohibits assembly of more than five people.

The government has also urged people not to converge in large numbers at beaches, gardens or waterfronts. At the Gateway of India, Marine Lines, Girgaum and Juhu Chowpatty, in particular, the citizens should take extra care. People must adhere to social distancing, focus on wearing masks in public and use sanitizers.

Senior citizens above 60 years and children below 10 years should not venture out of homes at all.

People have been urged not to organise religious and cultural programmes or processions on New Year’s eve. Further, fireworks should not be set off. Citizens must strictly adhere to noise pollution regulations.

On the first day of the New Year, most citizens go to place of worship; the government has also called upon them to observe social distancing. Also, the authorities should take appropriate precautionary measures from the point of view of health and hygiene of the citizens.

Meanwhile, Home Minister Anil Deshmukh clarified that four people can travel in a vehicle. However, the police won’t permit crowding.

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