With festivals round the corner, the union health ministry has issued SOPs on preventive measures to contain the spread of coronavirus during festivities. In its latest guidelines, the government said, festive events shall only be permitted outside containment zones and urged people residing in containment zones to observe festivals inside their homes rather than moving out.

“Festive events shall be permitted only outside the Containment Zones. Organisers, staff and visitors from Containment Zones shall not be permitted. People residing inside Containment Zones may be encouraged to observe all festivals inside their homes and not move out,” the ministry added.

The health minsitry also instructed that mass events such as fairs, rallies, exhibitions, cultural functions, processions will require identification of spatial boundaries and preparation of a detailed site plan in compliance with thermal screening, physical distancing, sanitisation etc. In case of rallies and immersion processions, the number of people should not exceed the prescribed limit and proper physical distancing and wearing of masks must be ensured, it said.

The ministry said, a plan should be prepared well in advance about conducting each event. Event sites should have adequate floor areas and proper markings to ensure physical distancing. Volunteers should be appropriately stationed to ensure thermal scanning, physical distancing and wearing of masks. he guidelines issued for theatre and cinema artists will apply to stage performers. Adequate supplies of sanitisers, thermal guns and physical distancing floor markings to be ensured.

Close circuit cameras would be considered to monitor compliance of physical distance norms, wearing of masks at each venue. “In case of rallies and processions, route planning, identification of immersion sites, ensuring cap on numbers, physical distancing etc. must be planned beforehand and measures for enforcement outlined.”

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