Publishers tabled the proposal in a meeting with Bangla Academy authorities on Tuesday, said Jalal Ahmed, a member secretary of the Fair Management Committee and a director of the academy.
“We’ll forward the publishers’ proposal to the government, who will give us a decision based on the status of the pandemic. In the meantime, we will keep preparing for the fair,” Jalal said.
Following the meeting, Farid Ahmed, president of the Academic and Creative Publishers Association of Bangladesh, said, “The Bangla Academy will send our request to the government in the form of a [meeting resolution].
“If approved, [Bangla Academy] will officially announce the dates of the book fair.”
Amid the spike in COVID-19 cases around the country, the government enforced fresh curbs to limit the spread of the highly-contagious omicron variant.
Authorities then delayed the Ekushey Book Fair, which is usually held from Feb 1 every year, by two weeks. The Bangla Academy is aiming to start this year’s fair from Feb 15.
Vaccine certificates will be required to enter the fairgrounds for visitors and book sellers alike. A vaccination booth is also being set up at the Bangla Academy grounds to inoculate citizens.
The government initially tightened COVID restrictions on Jan 13, but as the cases kept soaring, the Cabinet Division introduced fresh curbs from Jan 21.
In-person classes at schools and colleges were barred until Feb 6, while a ban was enforced on more than 100 people gathering at any event. Those who attend such programmes must also keep COVID negative certificates on them at all times.