Karnataka fresh COVID-19 rules: Schools to be shut, theatres at 50% capacity

Bars, restaurants, shopping malls and cinema halls that do not follow the norms will be closed till the end of the pandemic, the government has said.
A health worker in a PPE suit collecting nasal swab sample from a man for coronavirus test
A health worker in a PPE suit collecting nasal swab sample from a man for coronavirus test
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The Karnataka government on Friday introduced fresh regulations in wake of the second wave of COVID-19 in the state. This included the closure of gyms and swimming pools and a reduction in the seating capacity of pubs, bars and theatres to 50%. Gyms and swimming pools shall remain closed and rallies, dharnas and public gatherings shall be prohibited.

In places of worship, individuals are permitted to visit and offer prayers only. There shall be no gatherings, functions, etc. In apartment complexes, the common facilities like gyms, party halls, club houses, swimming pools, etc shall remain closed. 

Physical classes for students from Class 6 to 9, including Vidyagama, shall be suspended and Classes 10, 11 and 12 can continue in the existing mode. However, attending these classes in person is not mandatory. Classes of higher and professional courses shall be suspended, except classes due for Board or University examinations and of Health Sciences will continue. Boarding schools and residential hostels shall be closed, except for the students of Classes 10, 11, 12 and for students of higher and professional courses appearing in Board and University examination and Health Sciences.

The government has mandated that the number of customers in pubs, bars, clubs, restaurants should not exceed 50% of the capacity and if they do not follow proper norms like ensuring wearing of masks and physical distancing, the facility shall be closed till the pandemic subsides.

Similarly, shopping malls, closed markets, departmental stores, etc have been directed to ensure strict enforcement of norms, failing which the premises will be sealed till the end of the pandemic.

The government has also directed that the number of people using public transport shall not exceed the seating capacity. The government has said that practice of work from home should be followed in offices and workplaces as far as possible.

In cinema halls, alternate seating will be subject to a maximum of 50% seating capacity in the districts of Bengaluru Urban and Rural including within BBMP limits, Mysuru, Kalaburagi, Dakshin Kannada, Udupi, Bidar and Dharwad. Strict COVID-19 appropriate behaviour like ensuring wearing of masks, physical distancing, provision of hand sanitizer and hand wash shall be enforced. In the districts of Bengaluru Urban and Rural including BBMP, Mysuru, Kalburgi, Dakshin Kannada, Udupi, Bidar and Hubballi-Dharwad.

Karnataka has been seeing a fresh surge of cases since the onset of March. For the first time in five months, the number of new cases crossed the 4,000 mark this week. Bengaluru, being the hotspot, is seeing the majority of the caseload, reporting 2,906 cases on Thursday alone. 

According to government data, Bengaluru recorded 31,886 cases for the month of March compared to 6,813 cases in February. Not only the caseload, the positivity rate also increased to 2.31% in March from 0.94% in February. Bidar (218), Kalaburagi (144), Tumakuru (102) and Mysuru (109) are the districts other than Bengaluru which have more than 100 cases.

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