West Bengal shuts schools, parlors from January 3, offices to operate at 50% capacity, check curbs here


New Delhi: The West Bengal government on Sunday (January 2) announced several new curbs in view of spurt in daily COVID-19 cases.

Schools, colleges, spas will be closed from Monday (January 3), while all government and private offices will be allowed to operate at 50 per cent capacity.

West Bengal Chief Secretary HK Dwivedi, as quoted by ANI, said, “All schools, colleges, universities, spas, salons, beauty parlors, zoos, and entertainment parks to be closed in the state from tomorrow.”

“All government and private offices to operate at 50% capacity, all administrative meetings to be conducted via virtual mode,” he added. Only essential services will be permitted from 10 pm to 5 am, the government added.

Local trains will operate from Monday with 50% capacity till 7 pm. “Bengal to operate flights from Delhi and Mumbai only twice a week which will be on Monday and Friday wef Jan 5,” Dwivedi said.

All shopping malls and markets can remain open till 10 pm but with half their capacities.

Long-distance trains will operate as per their usual schedule. Metro trains in Kolkata will operate with 50 per cent capacity.

Cinema halls and theaters can operate with 50 per cent capacity. Meetings and conferences can be conducted with a maximum of 200 people at a time or 50 per cent capacity of the hall, whichever is lower.

Bars and restaurants will be permitted to open with 50 per cent capacity till 10 pm, while home delivery of food and other essential products was permitted as per usual operational hours.

Only 50 people will be allowed at weddings and 20 persons during funeral and burial services.

Earlier this week, the Bengal government decided to suspend all direct flights temporarily from the United Kingdom to Kolkata with effect from January 3 amid rising coronavirus cases.

On Saturday, West Bengal reported 4,512 fresh COVID-19 infections, out of which 2,398 cases were from Kolkata, a health bulletin said. With nine more deaths on Saturday, the state’s death toll climbed to 19,773. The Omicron count in the state stands at 16.

Meanwhile, West Bengal Power Minister Aroop Biswas was hospitalised in Kolkata on Saturday after he tested positive for COVID-19, an official said.

(With agency inputs)

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