*NEW DELHI: Amid the alarming rise in COVID-19 cases and its fast-spreading new Omicron variant, several states in India have taken adequate precautionary measures and made it mandatory to get both doses of the Coronavirus vaccines for visiting public places. The World Health Organisation (WHO) has also stressed the need to speed up the vaccination drive and inoculate as much population as possible to fight the severity of the newly found variant.
It is advisable for people to save their vaccination certificates on their mobile phones since health officials would visit public places and ask them to show their COVID vaccination certificates at random. A soft copy (digital certificate) on a mobile phone or a hard copy stating that they have taken two doses can be displayed when asked. The Health teams could visit parks, hotels, restaurants, cinema halls, and other public places.
Non-compliance with the new rules and COVID-19 guidelines could attract punishment. Here are the states where vaccination has been made compulsory.
The Haryana government has made the second dose of COVID-19 vaccination mandatory from 1st January 2022 for visiting public places. According to an announcement by the Manohar Lal Khattar government, only fully vaccinated people will be allowed at public places from the New Year. As per the state government’s order, only fully vaccinated persons will be allowed to travel from bus stands and railway stations from January 1. Further, eligible people who are not fully vaccinated will not be permitted inside crowded places like malls, cinema halls and restaurants.
Haryana’s Health and Home Minister Anil Vij said, “From January 1, 2022, any eligible person who has not taken both doses of Covid vaccine will not be permitted in malls, hotels, restaurants, marriage palaces, cinema halls, offices, banks or any such places which attract crowds.”
Only fully vaccinated people will be permitted at public places such as markets, malls, hotels and cinema halls, according to an announcement by the Punjab government. The order, which comes into effect from January 15, however, conspicuously did not mention political rallies at a time when the state is gearing up to hold elections early next year.
Private and public sector banks, hotels, bars, restaurants, malls, shopping complexes, cinema halls, gyms and fitness centres have been ordered to allow only fully vaccinated adults. All government, board and corporation offices located in Chandigarh will allow only fully vaccinated people, according to the order issued by the state’s home affairs and justice department.
The Punjab government has also announced that no salary will be given to government employees without vaccine certificates. The state government has taken this step under the ‘no vaccine, no salary’ policy to promote people to get vaccinated.
The Karnataka government has said that only fully vaccinated people will be allowed in public spaces like theatres and educational institutions among other places as fresh restrictions were announced to contain the growing threat of the Omicron variant of the Novel Coronavirus.
“The entry to malls, cinema halls/theatres shall be allowed only to persons who are vaccinated with two doses of the Covid-19 vaccine,” R Ashok, Karnataka’s Minister for Revenue said recently. The minister added that parents of children below 18 years will have to mandatorily be vaccinated in order for the latter to attend physical classes, he added.
The district administration in Tamil Nadu’s Madurai had earlier announced that unvaccinated people would not be allowed to enter malls, shopping complexes and other public places. People were given one week’s time to get at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, failing which they would not be allowed to enter public places.
The Tamil Nadu government later withdrew the order mandating two doses of vaccines for entering temples. The order was issued for devotees planning to visit Meenakshi Sundareswar and Ramanthaswamy temples in Madurai and Rameswaram, respectively. The order was withdrawn by the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments (HR&CE) Department of the state government. The order, requiring proof of two doses of vaccination, was reportedly introduced by the administration to prevent a possible third wave of Covid infection.
Kerala had also issued guidelines for unvaccinated people. The state government said it will not provide free treatment to COVID-19 patients who have not been vaccinated.
The government of the National Capital Territory of Delhi has made it mandatory for government servants to be vaccinated in order to work. A Yellow alert has been sounded in Delhi in view of an alarming rise in COVID cases in the national capital.