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Maharashtra govt issues fresh order amid concerns over Omicron variant: All you need to know

11:13 PM Nov 27, 2021 | Sanjay Jog

Mumbai: In view of the scare over the 'Omicron' variant, which has been classified as a variant of concern by the WHO, the Maharashtra Government on Saturday issued a fresh order directing strict adherence to COVID-19 appropriate behaviour.

All incoming travellers from any international destination shall be governed by directions of the Government of India in this respect. Domestic travellers shall either be fully vaccinated or carry an RT-PCR test report valid for 72 hrs.

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The order issued by Chief Secretary Sitaram Kunte said, "The Universal Pass created by the State Government shall be a valid proof of status of full vaccination. Or else, a Cowin Certificate with a valid ID proof carrying a photo may be taken as valid proof for the same. For those below 18 years of age, any other government or photo identity card issued by school will do; and for those who are unable to take the vaccine due to medical reasons, a certificate from a certified medical practitioner may serve as documentary evidence for entry," the order said.

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The order states that since the State Government is recording fewer COVID- 19 positive cases consistently for the past few months, it is considering opening up economic, social, entertainment and cultural activities with fewer restrictions, especially for fully vaccinated persons.

However, the government has categorically said that strict adherence to COVID appropriate norms as laid down by the State and Central Government from time to time shall be observed by all, including the service providers, owners of premises, licensees, organizers.

''The health protocol includes frequent washing of hands, maintaining social distance, wherever possible, avoiding crowds, avoiding spitting in public places, among others, the order adds.

According to the order, "In case of any program/ event/ activity happening in an enclosed/closed space like a cinema hall, theatre, marriage hall, convention hall, attendance up to 50 percent of the capacity of the space will be allowed."

"In case of open spaces, for any events or gatherings, 25 percent of the capacity can be ustlised. The DDMA shall have the authority to decide the capacity in case of such locations, if not already declared formally (such as stadiums)," it said further.

The guidelines state that if any individual is found flouting COVID-19 norms, he will be fined Rs 500 for each instance of default. If any person does not adhere to the COVID protocol inside the premises of an organisation, the authorities can impose a Rs 10,000 penalty on the institution over and above the individual fine on the person.

Also, if anyone is found to be flouting guidelines inside a taxi or private transport, the driver/helper/conductor who is providing the service will also be fined Rs 500.

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