Delhi Extends Covid Curbs Till Midnight Of Dec 31 Amid Omicron Scare

Delhi Extends Covid Curbs Till Midnight Of Dec 31 Amid Omicron Scare

The decision will limit Christmas and New Year’s Eve celebrations in the national capital (File)

New Delhi:

In a decision that will limit Christmas and New Year’s Eve celebrations, the Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) on Wednesday extended till the midnight of December 31 its Covid curbs including the ban on social and cultural gatherings and a restriction on the number of people allowed in a bar and restaurant at a time.

In an order, the DDMA said the currently permitted and restricted activities in Delhi will continue up to the intervening night of December 31 and January 1.

Under a phased reopening with improved Covid situation in the city, the DDMA has permitted most of the activities. However, political, social, cultural, religious, and such other gatherings are still not permitted.

Apart from the cap of 50% of seating capacity on bars and restaurants, the order also continued the restriction on banquet halls to hold events other than meetings and conferences, exhibitions, and marriages.

In the pre-Covid period, hotels, bars, restaurants, and banquets halls used to be packed with revellers during Christmas and New Year’s Eve celebrations.

Restaurateurs were disappointed with the decision and said they were hoping to recover the losses incurred during the pandemic by organising events on New Year’s Eve and Christmas.

Rahul Singh, the owner of Beer Cafe, said, “Multiplexes, cinema halls, buses – everywhere 100% capacity is allowed. So what have we done to deserve this? It is disappointing. We were hoping to come out of the losses that the industry has suffered during the pandemic but now it looks difficult.”

He said it is understandable that there is a threat of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus but questioned whether singling out restaurants and bars is the only solution to ward off the fear of the spread of infection.

Joy Singh, co-partner of Raasta and Yeti, said, “We have had some bookings for Christmas and New Year and we will have to refund the money of some customers and that will be a loss for us. Of course, regular customers will be given preference in bookings.”

However, he said that looking at a bigger picture, this is slightly a better solution. “If by taking some precautions, we can contain the spread of the virus and prevent a situation that may call for a complete lockdown, it is better,” he said.

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Author: moviewood