A sudden surge of Covid 19 positive cases in Assam has forced the government of Assam to close all schools from today. It will come into effect from 8th January 2022. In yesterday’s press meet, Dr. Himanta Biswa Sarma told that schools upto Class VIII in Kamrup Metro and up to Class V in all other districts will remain closed from January 8 till January 30. The schools will remain closed, but students will still have access to online classes. However, He also added that class IX and above in Kamrup-Metropolitan district and class VI and above in all other districts will be allowed to operate in offline mode but on an alternate day basis. The students need to attend classes, 3 days per week. There have been no changes in school hours. However, the students who are going to attend offline classes on a rotational basis will soon receive new class timetables.
According to a statement made by Himanta Biswa Sarma, the restriction imposed for Assam will be applicable until 31st January 2022.
Assam Chief Minister Dr. Himanta Bishwa Sarma, announced that the schools of Assam are most likely to be reopened from 15th of February 2022.
He specifically said, that the positive cases are decreasing and the situation is being monitored closely. The hope for improvement is high in future and thus from February the schools could be reopened.
He further highlighted that after 15th February based on a recommendation from competent authority schools could be reopened for all classes. Even, if classes do reopen chances are high that it will be allowed on alternate days as already is the case for Classes VI and above.
The detailed SOP released for Educational Institutions (Government and Private) are as follows-
- Education institutions should continue to offer quality virtual online options, including schools, colleges, and universities.
- Kamrup-Metropolitan district’s schools up to class VIII and all other districts’ schools up to class V will remain closed.
- Students in class IX and above in Kamrup-Metro and students in class VI and above in other districts, shall continue to take physical classes on alternate days.
- Students enrolled in the final year of engineering/medical college may attend physical classes if they are fully vaccinated.
Following the increasing number of Assam Covid cases, the government issued new regulations and guidelines. In addition to limiting opening hours and the capacity of offices, restaurants, and shops, Assam Covid has also imposed new restrictions. A curfew between 10 pm and 6 am has also been imposed by the Assam government, which will take effect on January 8 and continue until further notice. Additionally, the chief minister announced that from tomorrow, markets, standalone shops, malls will be closed by 9:00 PM, and takeaway food items will be permitted until 10:00 PM from restaurants and dhabas.
Additional restrictions and relaxations
- Government employees should complete double dose of vaccination in order to attend office. If an employee is not fully vaccinated, he or she will not be allowed to go to work and must request leave which will be considered as an unpaid leave.
- Employees performing emergency/essential services are permitted to perform their duties wherever they are.
- Essential and emergency services, police work, and election work will continue to function without any restrictions in all of the districts, regardless of government or private involvement.
Restrictions on Public Transport
- Transport of goods shall continue uninterrupted.
- All the authorities of the Public transport shall impose COVID-19 appropriate behaviour and also seating inside the carriers, containers, vehicles etc.
- For fully vaccinated passengers, auto rickshaws, cycle rickshaws, and taxis shall have 100% seating capacity.
- If you are fully vaccinated, you may ride with a passenger on a motorcycle
- Standing passengers are not allowed, if found the driver will be fined heavily and his or her license will be revoked as well.
- Inter-district movement and transport are allowed for passengers with 100% capacity who are fully vaccinated
- It is mandatory to wear a face mask even if you are driving alone. Persons traveling in any private vehicle occupying 100% of its seating capacity must wear face masks.
Restrictions on Gatherings:
Under the new SOP, gatherings in closed venues such as marriages or other functions are allowed up to 50% of the seating capacity of halls, auditoriums, etc. and a maximum of 200 people are allowed. According to the new SOP, the number of people allowed at Funerals should not exceed 100.
Other Miscellaneous protocols which needs to be followed:
- In all public places, face masks are mandatory. Non-compliance of the rules will result in fines.
- People who are not vaccinated will not be permitted to enter public places except hospitals from January 15,2022. Vaccination certificate must be carried by everyone in all public places.
- The shop owners should maintain a distance of 6 feet among customers and should not allow more than 5 persons at a time inside the shop
- It is compulsory for the customers and shop owners to wear masks and maintain social distancing.
- Tea gardens and Industrial units can operate as long as COVID appropriate behaviour are observed
Provisions for Penalties:
- Persons who violate these measures will be prosecuted under Sections 51 to 60 of the Disaster Management Act, 2005, in addition to legal action under Section 188 of the IPC and other provisions as applicable.
- A person who fails to wear a face mask in public or who spits in public places will be fined Rs. 1000 as per ASDMA’s earlier order no. ASDMA/24/2020/Part 1/122 dt. 14/10/2020.
However, Curfew restrictions on movement during curfew hours do not apply to the following categories:
- Medical professionals such as doctors, nurses, paramedical staff.
- All the officials of courts if they present valid Identity card.
- Health and Family Welfare and all medical related institutions, as well as government officials and individuals involved in emergency services
- Women who are pregnant and patients requiring medical or health services.
- Persons arriving at/departing from airports/railways/ISBTs can travel with a valid ticket.
- Print and Electronic Media will be allowed if they present valid Identity card
- Transport of essential goods / non-essential goods between states / within states shall be unrestricted.
- Services related to Telecommunications, Internet, Broadcasting and Cables, Information Technology and IT enabled solutions
- The production services that require continuous processes.
- All those who have been entrusted with responsibilities related to elections, either by government or by private enterprises
- Persons scheduled for a COVID-19 vaccination appointment.
- LPG, Petrol pumps, CNG, petroleum and gas retail and storage outlets
- Banks, ATM’s and Insurance offices