In a relief to people travelling together in private vehicles in Delhi, the DDMA in an order on Saturday said no penalty will be imposed on them if found without masks.
A senior Delhi government officer said the relaxation will not be applicable for people travelling together in cabs and taxis which are public transport vehicles. Occupants of government vehicles will be exempted from the rule, he said.
"...in relation to the clause 3(h) (c) whereby not wearing of face mask/cover in all public places has been made an offence, the penalty under this provision will not be applicable to persons travelling together in private four wheeler vehicles from February 28," the order said.
Earlier this month, the authority also exempted single occupants in four wheelers from wearing face masks.
The penalty for not wearing masks in public places was reduced from Rs 2,000 to Rs 500 at a meeting of the Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) on Friday. An order issued by the DDMA on Saturday stated the fine for not wearing face masks will be Rs 500 from February 28.
The DDMA meeting chaired by Lt Governor Anil Baijal and attended by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal also lifted all COVID related restrictions.
The order said the blended/hybrid mode (online and offline) of learning in government schools and requiring consent from parents will be followed till March 31. The apex COVID-19 management body in the national capital has allowed physical classes only from April 1.
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With the DDMA order, the restrictions that have continued so far will end, like only one weekly market permitted in a municipal zone, no standing passengers allowed in buses and Metro trains, 50 per cent cap on seating capacity in restaurants, bars and cinemas and no activity except weddings in banquet halls.
Also, restrictions on having more than 200 people in wedding and funeral-related gatherings, and ban on entry of visitors in religious places, closure of sports complexes and swimming pools will also be lifted from Monday.
The Delhi High Court had on February 2 directed the DDMA to look into the several orders issued by it for COVID-19 protocols.
The DDMA reviewed the COVID-19 situation in Delhi on Friday and observed that "numbers of COVID-19 cases and positivity rate have declined significantly, also the occupancy of beds in hospitals is very low and the situation has vastly improved".
So, it was decided to remove all the restrictions in NCT of Delhi imposed by the DDMA, said the order.
The Union Home Ministry had also directed state and UT governments for re-opening of economic and social activities on risk assessment based approach.
While allowing all activities, guidelines for wearing of masks, maintaining social distancing, hand hygiene and ventilation in closed spaces will continue to be enforced as mandated in National Directives for COVID Management, the DDMA has directed.
It asked all district magistrates, district DCPs and other authorities to focus on strategic areas of intervention -- containment, testing, tracking and surveillance, clinical management, vaccination as well as strict compliance of Covid appropriate behaviour in their jurisdiction.
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