Mumbai:

Cinema halls, hotels, restaurants and offices except those related to health and essential services in Maharashtra will function at 50 percent capacity till March 31, the state government said on Monday.

Violation of norms will result in the shutting down of the establishment as long as the Central government''s notification of the COVID-19 pandemic as a "disaster" is in force, it said.

Nobody will be allowed inside these establishments without wearing a mask and a temperature check, the state government said in a notification as Maharashtra again recorded 15,000-plus new cases of infection on Monday.

Establishments (cinema halls, hotels, offices) will ensure they have enough personnel to enforce the mask rule as well as physical distancing by all visitors.

Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope on Monday said fresh lockdown is no answer to the rising COVID-19 cases in the state, but restrictions will be made stricter.

Though the number of cases has seen a rise in the last few days, the mortality rate remains low, he noted.

Maharashtra recorded this year's highest one-day spike of 16,620 new cases on Sunday.

"Lockdown is not an option but restrictions will be made more strict," Tope told reporters here.

As much as 85 per cent of new patients are asymptomatic and hence most of them have been advised home quarantine, he added.

"Tracking, testing and treatment is being followed. The number of tests has also been increased. Weddings and social gatherings are being restricted," he said.

"People should also observe self-discipline by ensuring physical distancing, wearing face masks and washing hands regularly. Follow rules to avoid new lockdown," the minister said.

Vaccination drive in the state is also picking up and over one lakh persons are being given the dose daily, Tope said.

"There is no shortage of vaccines. All senior citizens should get vaccinated at the earliest," he said.