Covid guideline for March: Odisha bans public celebration of Holi

Bhubaneswar: Odisha Government on Monday issued the Covid guidelines for the month of March 2022 in which it banned the public celebration of the Holi festival across the State.

The restriction for the public celebration of Holi has been imposed in view of the possible further spread of the coronavirus.

In the March Covid guideline, Odisha government said that several religious functions, Puja and festivities like “Mahashivratri”, “Dola Pumima” & “Holi” will be observed/celebrated during March, 2022.

Festival “Mahashivratri’ will be observed/ celebrated as per Revenue and Disaster Management (DM) Department Order No. 1339m &DM(DM) Dt.25.02.2022.

During the celebration of “Dola Pumima”, people shall ensure Covid Appropriate Behavriour such as physical distancing, use of face mask/ covering and handwashing/ hand sanitizer. Religious rituals are allowed with strict adherence to COVID-19 protocols.

Collectors and Municipal Commissioners may impose appropriate restrictions if required in “Dola Melans”. Also, they shall determine the number of participants in these gatherings with strict adherence of Covid appropriate behaviour and norms. Further mela/ congregations outside/ within the temple premises may also be reasonably restricted so as to avoid mass gatherings/ crowding. The devotees in these places must ensure Covid-19 safety protocols such as wearing of face masks, physical distancing and handwashing /hand sanitizer.

Considering local conditions, District Magistrates/ Municipal Commissioners/ Police Commissioner, Bhubaneswar-Cuttack may impose appropriate restrictions on the entry of devotees into temples/ churches/mosques/ religious places/ places of worship and in the celebrations in temples/ churches/mosques/ religious places/ places of worship. Collectors/ Municipal Commissioners may decide the number of persons to attend any religious ritual/ festival/Puja in their respective jurisdictions with strict adherence to Covid appropriate behaviour and norms.

‘Holi’ and their related rituals shall not be observed in public places throughout the state. People may celebrate ‘Holi’ with family members in their houses only and not in any public places including public roads. Collectors and Municipal Commissioners may impose any further restrictions as desirable in consideration of local situations.

General Directives for CO\/ID 19 Management the following General Directives for COVID-19 Management shall be strictly followed throughout the State:

  • Face coverings/ Masks: Wearing of face cover/ mask properly is compulsory in public places; in workplaces; and in public transport.
  • Physical distancing: Individuals must maintain a minimum distance of 6 feet in public places.
  • Spitting in public places will be punishable with a fine, as prescribed in accordance with laws, rules or regulations.
  • Same as permitted by the Excise Department, consumption of liquor in public places is prohibited.
  • Consumption of paan, gutka, tobacco, and similar products in public places is prohibited.

Safety and Protection of vulnerable persons

The following categories of people are advised against outdoor movement, except for essential and health purposes.

  • Persons above 65 years of age
  • Persons with co-morbidities
  • Pregnant women
  • Children below the age of 10 years
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