Now, pay up ₹1,000 for not wearing mask in Chandigarh

Not wearing a face mask in public places in Chandigarh will now invite a fine of ₹1,000.

Even as the UT administration on Thursday ruled out night curfew in the city and decided against rolling back relaxations announced recently, it doubled the fine for not wearing mask from ₹500.

The decision was taken in the Covid-19 review meeting chaired by UT administrator VP Singh Badnore.

Even the Punjab government on Wednesday had increased the fine to ₹1,000, while in the neighbouring Panchkula, it is still ₹500.

“In our city, Covid-19 is thankfully under control. We do not want to disrupt normal life unless it becomes unavoidable. The economy too needs to be brought back on track. Our decision is dynamic. We take timely decisions depending on developments,” said UT adviser Manoj Parida, even as the city has witnessed a spike in cases in the last couple of weeks.

Coaching institutes to open from December 1

While in the neighbouring states of Himachal Pradesh and Haryana, schools have been shut after reopening to prevent the spread of coronavirus, the administration on Thursday decided to even allow the opening of coaching institutes.

Closed since March, they can resume classes and even open their hostels from December 1, subject to strict observance of Covid protocols. However, they have been directed to concentrate on online teaching instead of physical classes.

GMCH to resume classes from December 1

Classroom teaching at Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32, will also resume from December 1.

Dr Jasbinder Kaur, officiating director-cum-principal, GMCH, confirmed it. According to a recent directive from the Centre, states and UTs were asked to begin classes based on the advice of the National Medical Commission, which suggested that from the point of view of standardisation, all medical colleges should reopen at the same time across the country.

Review of closing time of eateries on cards

In contrast to the Punjab government’s decision to impose night curfew in the state from December 1, the UT administration instead has decided to review just the closing time of restaurants, bars and nightclubs in the next meeting, in case there is a surge in Covid cases.

Currently, these establishments close at 1am. The administration had allowed restaurants and hotels to reopen in June, while serving of liquor was allowed from September 1.

Badnore stresses on strict implementation of norms

The administrator directed officials to ensure that Covid protocols are followed in public gatherings, such as weddings and social events, and go for stricter enforcement in places where crowding takes place, including the Sector-26 mandi and other markers, ISBT, railway station, parks, Sukhna Lake and Rock Garden.

Violations of preventive norms, such as social distancing and wearing of masks, have been rampant in these places. Badnore also directed health officials to intensify mobile Covid testing at such places, while appealing to the citizens to follow norms and take precautions.

Badnore also directed officials to be ready for storage, transportation, distribution and planned vaccination of people, once the corona vaccine is made available. The Centre on November 24 directed the administration to augment the cold chain and transport mechanism for the Covid vaccine. The UT adviser will chair a meeting on the issue on Friday.

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