COVID Update: Several states issue fresh curfew and lockdown rules, no Char Dham Yatra in 2021

In the newest round of state restrictions, Chandigarh, Tamil Nadu and Madhya Pradesh have decided to extend their curfew timings; Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh have extended their lockdowns; Jharkhand will be extending its Health Safety Week; and new movement limits have been declared in Bihar and Jammu and Kashmir.

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Along with this, Uttarakhand has announced that it will be suspending its iconic Char Dham pilgrimage in view of the pandemic. You can read more about each state’s guidelines below, and check their newest train travel rules here. Please note that essential services will continue to function in all of these locations, and you can travel to railway stations/airports by carrying a valid ticket.

IRCTC Trains are scheduled to run normally, and you can make a booking here:

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Latest curfew & lockdown extensions

Chandigarh extended its daily curfew timings from April 29. Curfew rules will now apply from 6 pm to 5 am every day. Government offices will operate at 50% capacity and visitors can only meet officials by appointment. Buses will also run at only 50% capacity. All social, cultural, religious and political events have been banned. 

lockdown has been extended for another 15 days. The state’s ‘Break the Chain’ order had imposed emergency restrictions to control the spread of the virus till 7 am of May 1, but will now continue till 7 am of May 15.

Uttar Pradesh has increased its weekend lockdown timings. Starting today (April 30), lockdown will begin on Friday at 8 pm and continue till Tuesday at 7 am. Earlier, this lockdown would end on Monday at 7 am. All social, political, religious, recreational, athletic and academic gatherings have been banned. Shops, malls, cinema halls, restaurants, and religious places will be closed.

Madhya Pradesh’s Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan has decided to extend MP’s ‘Janta Curfew’ in 35 districts till today (April 30). All remaining districts will be under curfew from May 1 to May 3. However, in the district of Singrauli, the curfew will apply from May 1 (6 am) to May 8 (6 pm). If you are travelling to Madhya Pradesh anytime soon, we advise you to contact the relevant district’s helpline or police control room to avoid any confusion. 

Tamil Nadu has announced that it will continue to enforce its night curfew from 10 pm to 4 am throughout the state. Autos, taxis and private vehicles will not be permitted to run during curfew except for medical emergencies, essential services, or travel to/from railway stations and airports. Interstate and intrastate bus movement has also been curbed during these timings. 

The state is also imposing a complete lockdown on Sundays. The Chennai Metro Rail will run skeletal services, and restaurants and food delivery agents will be allowed to operate parcel food services from 6 am to 10 am, 12 pm to 3 pm and 6 pm to 9pm. No other e-commerce activities will be allowed to function. All meat stalls, fish markets, vegetable shops, cinema theatres and shopping malls will be closed on Sundays.

Jharkhand will be extending its Swasthya Suraksha Saptah (Health Safety Week) from April 29 (6 am) till May 6 (6 am). The following services will be available only till 2 pm every day: Government offices (max. 50% attendance), banks/ATMs and other financial facilities, grocery shops, fair price distribution shops, e-commerce delivery and pickup, excise shops, construction-related shops, agriculture-related shops, vehicle repair, and veterinary care shops. 

All indoor or outdoor gatherings of more than 5 people have also been banned in Jharkhand except for marriage functions (max. 50 people) and funerals (max. 30 people). 

New restrictions: Bihar, J&K, Uttarakhand

Jammu and Kashmir has issued an 84-hour complete lockdown for 11 districts: Srinagar, Kulgam, Baramulla, Kathua, Udhampur, Reasi, Jammu, Anantnag, Pulwama, Ganderbal and Budgam. The lockdown began yesterday (April 29) at 7 pm and will end on May 3 at 7 am.

Bihar has imposed a night curfew from 6 pm to 6 am every day, starting April 29. The state has also decided to shut all shops at 4 pm daily. For weddings, the night curfew will begin after 10 pm, and only 50 people can attend the event. The attendance limit for funerals has been set to 20 people. Government offices can function only at 25% capacity, and wherever possible, public and private sector employees should work from home. Public transport will run at 50% of seating capacity. 

And finally, news from
Uttarakhand—the state’s famous Char Dham Yatra has been suspended due to the surge in COVID-19 cases. Pilgrims will not be allowed to visit the revered Himalayan temples of Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gangotri and Yamunotri this year, but priests will still carry out the required pujas and rituals. The shrines were earlier scheduled to open to the public on May 14. 

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