Mumbai: The Maharashtra government has extended lockdown restrictions in the state till 31st January 2021, amid rising concern of spread of Covid-19 and the new UK variant.

A circular to this effect was issued on December 29. "The state is threatened with the spread of COVID-19 virus. Therefore, to take certain emergency measures to prevent and contain the spread of the virus, the lockdown in the state has been extended till January 31," the circular said.

The activities already allowed and permitted from time to time shall be continued, it added.

The Uddhav Thackeray government appealed that children below the age of 10 and elderly citizens older than 60 years of age must avoid venturing out of the home on New Year's Eve.

The Maharashtra government had earlier imposed a night curfew in all the municipal areas of the state. The curfew is in place from 11 pm to 6 am and will remain in force till 5 January.

The development comes after three more passengers who returned from the United Kingdom to Mumbai after 25 November have tested positive for coronavirus, taking the total number of such patients to 15 so far.

Maharashtra is one of the five states and UTs that account for 60% of total active Covid-19 cases in the country.

Last month, the government had allowed reopening of places of worship. Schools for students from Std 9th to 12th were also reopened in some parts of the state.