Bengaluru: In light of Covid-19, the Karnataka government has banned New Year celebrations in clubs, pubs and restaurants. The ban will be in place for four days from December 30 in order to minimise the spread of the disease.

Ahead of Christmas, the BS Yediyurappa-led Karnataka government has asked the supervisors and organisers of the churches to maintain social distancing and also to avoid mass gatherings.

The government has issued an order prohibiting planned parties between 30 December and 2 January at clubs, pubs, restaurants, and other places where people can gather for celebrating New Year. However, there will be no restrictions on pubs, clubs, and restaurants in carrying out dining in limited numbers.

In an order issued by Karnataka Chief Secretary T M Vijay Bhaskar Thursday, the government permitted only green crackers during the festivities and urged the public to refrain from giving handshakes and hugs.

“Keeping in mind public health, there is a need to celebrate Christmas and New Year in a simple and meaningful way. In the wake of this, mass parties have been banned across the state at public places, establishments and places where large crowds gather without maintaining social distancing,” the order read.

“From December 30 to January 2, parties, special DJ dance programmes, and special events at clubs, pubs, restaurants, and other places that attract people in large numbers without social distancing have been prohibited,” it added.

The order also said, “people should not indulge in handshakes or hugging during the festivities to avoid the spread of Covid-19.”

Police commissioners and deputy commissioners have been given the authority to impose more restrictions at places in their jurisdiction to avoid celebrations and social gatherings.