The Kerala government announced that no public observation of festivals or mass gatherings would be permitted during Onam, Muharram, Janmashtami and Durga Pooja as these events would increase the COVID-19 cases. The order was issued by Chief Secretary V P Joy and will come into effect from August 12. Kerala's Disaster Management Department decided after the Centre issued an alert to all states about the possibility of mass gatherings during upcoming festivals. The new guidelines issued by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan-led Kerala government stated that intensified stringent lockdown restrictions would be enforced where the infection rate is high. It said that Sabarimala pilgrimage would begin from August 15, and only 15,000 devotees per day would be permitted. The visitors need to have at least a single dose of the vaccine or a negative RT-PCR test, not older than 72 hours. The guidelines further stated that people who are yet to receive COVID vaccination could move out of their homes for essential activities only if no other people have been vaccinated or have a negative COVID report. Additionally, the state government has made a negative COVID report mandatory for those queuing up at liquor shops, and vaccinated individuals need to show their certificates at the shop. Kerala, on Tuesday, reported 21,119 new cases pushing the total infection caseload to 35,86,693. 

from asianetnews

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