COVID curbs: Bengal shuts schools, colleges; offices allowed with 50% workforce

West Bengal government brought back stricter COVID-related restrictions amid steep rise in cases, shutting all educational institutions from Monday and allowing offices to operate with 50% workforce

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PTI

The West Bengal government brought back stricter COVID-related restrictions amid a steep rise in cases, shutting all educational institutions from Monday and allowing offices to operate with 50 per cent workforce.

At a press conference on Sunday, Chief Secretary HK Dwivedi announced that only essential services will be permitted between 10 pm and 5 am in the state.

Local trains would be allowed to operate with 50 per cent capacity till 7 pm, while all shopping malls and markets would be allowed to remain open till 10 pm but with half their capacities, he said.

Long-distance trains will operate as per their usual schedule. Metro trains in Kolkata will also operate as per their usual timing but with 50 per cent capacity.

All tourist attractions, including the zoos, would remain closed. Besides, swimming pools, parlours, spa, wellness centres and gyms were also told to shut down, he added.

Flights from Mumbai and New Delhi will ply only twice a week, and no flights from the UK will be allowed for the time being, Dwivedi said.

Cinema halls and theatres have been allowed to operate with 50 per cent capacity. Meetings and conferences have been allowed with a maximum of 200 people at a time or 50 per cent capacity of the hall, whichever is lower.


Bars and restaurants were allowed to remain open with 50 per cent capacity till 10 pm, while home delivery of food and other essential products was permitted as per usual operational hours.

Not more than 50 persons shall be allowed in weddings, and only 20 persons will be allowed during funeral and burial services, the chief secretary said.

The state government asked the management of industries, factories, mills, tea gardens and other commercial establishments to ensure strict compliance with the guidelines.

West Bengal on Saturday reported 4,512 fresh COVID-19 cases, 1,061 more than the previous day, with Kolkata accounting for 2,398 new cases, as per the state health department.

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