New Delhi, Dec 30 (PTI) Police and fire unit deployment has been beefed up, traffic regulation planned, and restaurants and bars asked to host not more than 50 per cent of their capacity as the national capital prepares to welcome the New Year amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Officials said they have also taken several measures to ensure women’s safety, and added though breath analyser test will not be used to detect drunken-driving out of precaution against coronavirus, delinquent drivers will be liable for legal action. In order to ensure orderly celebrations, police presence will be strengthened in markets, around malls, five-star hotels, restaurants, pubs and bars, they said.

Delhi Police Commissioner SN Shrivastava said that this year, public gatherings will be subjected to coronavirus protocol.

"There is a restriction on the number of people who can collect at a point. So these restrictions will be there and wearing of masks will be mandatory," he told PTI.

"We will be making adequate arrangements at places where people normally like to collect. But one thing would be that all such collection would be subject to COVID-19 protocols." He said all other routine measures will be taken. "We hope next year brings us greater luck and much better standards of life and much better lifestyle than what we had witnessed in this current year." The traffic police said they are not using alcometer, but will be keeping an eye on drunken-driving cases.

"We are not using alcometer due to the COVID-19, but if someone found in inebriate condition, we will medically examine him and action will be taken accordingly. We also want people to follow COVID-19 guidelines," Joint Commissioner of Police (Trafffic) Manish Kumar Agrawal said.

Deputy Commissioner of Police (New Delhi) Eish Singhal said, "We have asked the restaurants and bars to operate at 50 per cent of their capacity. The bouncers have been informed not to indulge in any fight and approach the police instead." A senior police officer said it will be duty of restaurant-owners to drop a woman to her place if she gets drunk.

"The police presence has been intensified at several places in south Delhi, including Mehrauli, Ansal Plaza, south extension markets and GK market, where people gather for the New Year celebration. Restaurant owners have been asked to follow all COVID-19 guidelines. They have also been asked to ensure women’s safety," Deputy Commissioner of Police (south) Atul Kumar Thakur said.

After 10 pm, music will be allowed up to only permissible noise limit, police said.

Women police personnel will also be deployed to further widen the safety measures, the officer said.

The traffic movement will be restricted and regulated in and around Connaught Place and India Gate areas, they said.

Public shall not be allowed to exit from Rajiv Chowk Metro Station gates after 9 PM on December 31, they added.

According to fire department, fire units will be deployed at South Extension market, Lajpat Nagar-II market, Connaught Place’s Palika Bazaar, Gandhi Nagar Market, New Pacific Mall (Rajouri Garden), Rani Bagh Market, Chhattarpur near Trivoli Garden, Majnu ka Tila, Hauz Khas Village Market from 8.30 pm on Thursday to 12.30 am on Friday.