The Kerala government has brought back the COVID-19 mandate for masks, making them compulsory in public places, workplaces and gatherings.

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In its order, dated January 12, the state government has also directed to take effective measures for ensuring social distancing to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the state.

Besides, the government also directed shops, theatres and organisers of various events to arrange facilities for washing their hands and using sanitisers to ensure safety of people from a potential virus attack.

The order, issued amid concerns about a possible surge in COVID-19 cases across the country, shall remain in force in all parts of the state for a period of 30 days with effect from January 12, 2023, it said.