Odisha Govt Allows Cultural Gatherings Including Jatras, Melody Shows

Bhubaneswar: Odisha Government has allowed the opening of cultural gatherings programmes including jatras, melody shows, and other such activities with effect from November 20, 2021.

As informed by the Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) on Saturday, the following activities are allowed, with a view to protecting the health of the public and preventing the spread of Covid-19 along with normalising the economic activities.

• Cultural gatherings/ programmes including melodies, orchestra/ jatra/ opera, dances-classical, folk and other permitted dance forms, cultural competitions, open air theatres/ drama/ nukkad natak/ street plays/ other such performances etc shall be allowed to open with due compliance to covid protocols.

• Auditoriums/ assembly halls/ similar facilities shall be allowed to open with due compliance to covid protocols.

Following COVID-19 safety protocols shall be adhered to:

(i) Open Air Theatres/ Jatras /Operas shall be permitted by the local authorities (District Magistrate/SP/ Municipal Commissioner or any other officer authorized) subject to compliance of COVID-19 safety protocols such as mandatory wearing of face masks, physical distancing, provision of thermal scanning, etc. Keeping the size of the ground/ space in view, appropriate number of persons (subject to a ceiling of 2000 persons) will be allowed ensuring maintenance of prescribed physical distancing norm i.e., maintaining a distance of 6 feet from each other and the seating arrangement shall be made accordingly. As far as possible, facility for online booking of tickets may be arranged by the organizers and sufficient number of counters shall be opened to prevent crowding during physical booking of tickets. Facility of advance booking online as well as through counters may also be organized. The organizers shall be responsible for due compliance of these norms/ conditions.

(ii) For indoor halls the numbers of viewers/ spectators shall not exceed 50% of the seating capacity of the hall.

(iii) Cinema halls, theatres shall be allowed to open with up to 50% of capacity and operate with due compliance to covid protocols.

(iv) In closed places, the number of persons including the invitees shall not exceed 50% of the hall capacity.

(v) The person having double dose/final vaccination certificate and Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) (-ye)/ RT PCR (-ve) Report obtained within 72 hours prior to the function will be allowed to attend the function.

(vi) The organiser of the function will ensure adherence of COVID-19 safety protocols such as wearing of masks, maintaining social distancing of at least six(6) feet between participants and provision of thermal scanning & use of hand wash or sanitizer will be mandatory.

(vii) Persons with symptoms of Influenza Like Infection (ILI) and Severe Acute Respiratory Infection (SARI) shall not be allowed to the function.

(viii) Vulnerable groups of people, such as, persons above 65 years of age, persons with co-morbidities and pregnant women are advised not to attend the function.

(ix) Chewing of gutka and paan and spitting in the function is strictly prohibited.

(x) Cleaning and disinfection of frequently touched surfaces(door knobs/handles, hand rails, slides, chairs, tabletops, benches, washroom fixtures, floors/ walls shall be ensured

(xi) Deep cleaning of all drinking/ hand washing points/ wash rooms, lavatories shall be ensured.

(xii) The organiser of the function will ensure elaborate arrangement for hand washing with soap and water and also ensure availability of hand sanitizers.

However, permission for such activities shall be accorded by the respective District Magistrates/ SPs/ Municipal Commissioners/ Police Commissioner, Bhubaneswar-Cuttack or other officers authorised by them. Provided that the respective District Collector/SP/ Municipal Commissioner/ Police Commissioner, Bhubaneswar-Cuttack may further restrict the number of persons to be allowed in such functions/ gatherings keeping the local situation in mind in the interest of the health of the people and issue specific order in that regard.

Any person violating the measures notified in the above order will be liable to be proceeded against as per the provisions of Section 51 to 60 of the Disaster Management Act, 2005, and COVID-19 Regulations 2020, besides legal action under Sec. 188 of the IPC, and other legal provisions as applicable, the SRC added.