New Delhi: Amid a surge in COVID-19 cases, the Election Commission on Saturday banned election rallies, roadshows and corner meetings till January 15 in the five poll-bound states.

Chief Election Commissioner Sushil Chandra said the poll authority will review the COVID-19 situation on January 15 and take a further call on allowing public rallies.

The Commission will not hesitate to bar parties from further rallies if COVID protocol is not followed, Chandra said.

The Commission also set out stringent COVID guidelines, restricting the number of persons allowed for door-to-door campaigns to five.

Political parties have been asked to provide masks, hand sanitisers to people attending rallies, if they are allowed, Chandra said.

The Commission has also banned victory celebrations and only two persons will be allowed to accompany the candidate to collect the winning certificate.

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