By Our Reporter
SHILLONG, Dec 17: The state government’s announcement of COVID-related SOPs for the upcoming Christmas festival has not gone down well with Chief Adviser to the Chief Minister and former Health Minister, AL Hek who slammed the government for issuing protocols for the festivals while ignoring them during elections.
“We as politicians openly violate protocols during elections despite being considered as custodians of the law. Why is the government issuing protocols now for Christmas instead of opening up churches,” Hek said on Friday.
“When elections can take place during COVID, why Christmas carols cannot be allowed,” Hek questioned.
As per the standard operating procedure issued by the government on Friday, church services relating to Christmas/ New Year including midnight services is permitted subject to compliance to the SOPs on preventive measures to contain spread of COVID-19 in places of worship. The government has recommended staggered services at churches and has allowed outdoor services within the compound of the church provided the gathering does not exceed 75% of the capacity of the place of worship.
Christmas Caroling and community feasting have been allowed subject to strict adherence to protocols.
The SOP also said that churches will take measures to ensure staggered entry of persons coming to the feast.
Night curfew will be lifted on December 24 and 25 and again on December 31, to enable faithful to attend midnight services.