The Andhra Pradesh government has issued orders for implementation of night curfew from 11 pm to 5 am till January 31. While it was earlier presumed that the orders would come into effect immediately, the orders were revised to begin the new restrictions only from January 18, after the Sankranthi festival. A government order issued on January 11, Tuesday, by the Health Department, laid down the guidelines for the night curfew and other restrictions to contain the spread of COVID-19. All gatherings and congregations including marriages, religious gatherings, social activities etc. can have a maximum of 200 participants at outdoor locations and a maximum of 100 participants at indoor locations, while following COVID-19 appropriate behaviour.
Exemptions will apply during the period of night curfew for the following: hospitals, diagnostic labs, and pharmacies; print and electronic media; telecommunications, internet services, broadcasting services, IT and IT enabled services; petrol pumps; power generation, transmission and distribution; water supply and sanitation; government officers/officials including officers of Andhra Pradesh High Court and other courts, urban local bodies and panchayat raj institutions on emergency duty; all medical personnel; pregnant women and patients for the purpose of receiving medical care; persons coming from/going to airports, railway stations, bus stands on production of valid ticket. All inter-state and intra-state movement of goods will be permitted.
Apart from night curfew, restrictions have been imposed on movie theatres, which will have to leave alternate seats vacant, apart from mandating mask use. While religious institutions have not been closed, they have been directed to ensure physical distancing, wearing of masks, proper sanitation etc. and take other appropriate decisions as deemed necessary to contain the spread of COVID -19.
â€śWearing of masks by all individuals in public places is mandatory and non-compliance shall attract a penalty of Rs 100,â€ť the order said. Wearing masks is compulsory in public transportation as well. Shops and other commercial establishments allowing people inside without a mask will attract a penalty of Rs 10,000 to Rs 25,000.