Mumbai | Jagran News Desk: The Maharashtra government on Monday announced imposition of night curfew in state's municipal corporation areas from December 22 to January 5. The restrictions will be imposed from 11 pm to 6 am in Mumbai and all other major cities of the state. 

The announcement comes ahead of the Christmas and New Year celebrations and the new strain of coronavirus found in the United Kingdom. 

Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray had on Sunday ruled out any lockdown and night curfew, but said that wearing masks will be mandatory for the next six months in the state. 

Thackeray said experts are in favour of imposing night curfew or another lockdown, but he is not in favour of these steps. The CM appealed to people to be careful during the New Year celebrations.

“Let me say this again, the threat of Corona is yet to pass. To avoid the virus, do not let your guard down, do not crowd in public places, mask up, observe physical distance and keep washing hands,” the CMO wrote on Twitter on Sunday.

The state government also announced that passengers coming to the state from European and Middle East countries will have to remain under compulsory institutional quarantine for 14 days starting Tuesday. Such passengers will have to undergo COVID-19 RT-PCR test on the fifth or seventh day of their arrival in Maharashtra.

India along with several European Union nations have banned flights from the UK in their bid to block the new strain of coronavirus sweeping across southern England from establishing a strong foothold on the continent.

It is thought the variant either emerged in a patient in the UK or has been imported from a country with a lower ability to monitor coronavirus mutations.

The variant can be found across the UK, except Northern Ireland, but it is heavily concentrated in London, the South East and eastern England. Cases elsewhere in the country do not seem to have shot up in a similar way so far.

Posted By: Abhinav Gupta