The Meghalaya government on Thursday issued a new Standard operating procedure (SOP) for Holi celebrations amid the recent spike in COVID-19 cases wherein it banned public celebrations of the festival.

“SOP for Holi celebrations issued by the Home (Political) Department, Government of Meghalaya. 25th March 2021,” the Department of Information and Public Relations of the state tweeted.

“Person above 65 years of age, persons with comorbidities, pregnant women and children below the age of 10 years are advised to stay at home. Individuals must maintain a minimum distance of five feet in public places, use of face-masks is mandatory along with proper hand sanitisation, social distancing,” the order read.

The installation and the use of the Aarogya Setu app is also mandatory.

“Public celebrations and gatherings/congregations are not permitted in public places/ public grounds/public parks/markets/religious places. Playing with colours should be restricted to family members only and within people’s homes. Playing of colours and/or congregations shall not be allowed on the public road or roadside and there shall be no obstruction on any path/roads/thoroughfare. In case of private celebrations, the number of persons inside the venue/private premises shall be restricted in accordance with the order issued by Home (Political) Department dated February 2, wherein the maximum number of persons in any private gathering is restricted to 75 per cent of the seating capacity,” the order continued to read.

It also stated that legal action will be taken against violators as per the relevant laws. Persons with a history of inter-state travel should strictly follow the latest COVID-19 protocol, the new SOP states. (ANI)