Bengaluru: With the festive season nearing, the Karnataka government on Tuesday issued guidelines in the form of standard operating procedures (SOPs) to contain the spread of COVID-19.

The ministry has stated in an order that "As festivities during October-December draw large gatherings of people in public places for religious worship, fairs, rallies, exhibitions, cultural functions and processions, preventive measures have to be taken to contain the virus spread".

Senior citizens above 65 years of age, people with comorbidities, pregnant women and children less than 10 years are advised to stay at home.

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The statement from the ministry has added that organisers of fairs, rallies, exhibitions, cultural functions, processions, and plays/concerts associated with the fests must ensure thermal screening of participants, physical distancing, and sanitisation.

Events that last for days or weeks like exhibitions, fairs, puja pandals, Ramlila pandals or concerts and plays should ensure a cap on the number of participants with staggered timings and restricted entry.

The guidelines issued for theatre and cinema artists will also apply to stage performers.

In rallies and immersion processions, limited people should be allowed to participate to maintain social distancing and wearing of a mask is compulsory. Individuals must maintain six feet in public places and wear a mask all the time.

The statement added that in religious places, touching statues, idols and holy books is banned.