Punjab has extended the curfew in the state by two more weeks but with a relaxation of four hours everyday, Chief Minister Amarinder Singh said Wednesday. Punjab, which has recorded 322 cases and 19 deaths so far, had earlier clamped the curfew till May 3 in the state.
Addressing the people of the state, Amarinder Singh said residents would be allowed to step out of their homes from 7 am to 11 am everyday. All shops would be allowed to be open and industries would function, he said.
In Punjab, around 3,000 units, only a little over one per cent of the total of more than 2.52 lakh industrial units, have resumed operations so far.
“The decision on further course of action will be taken after two weeks, depending on the situation,” the Chief Minister said.
The CM advised the people of the state to be disciplined and return to their houses at 11 am everyday. “If we have allowed relaxation, that does not mean you can call your friends home. Social distancing has to be ensured,” he said.
Singh said many Punjabis were stranded in other parts of the country and they were being brought back. All of them would be under state quarantine for 21 days, he said.
Direction on opening of shops
Minutes after Amarinder’s address, the government issued guidelines to allow opening of shops in a staggered manner on rotational basis from 7 am to 11 am only. The shops will be opened in all the districts as per the guidelines of the Ministry of Home Affairs. During the period, residents will be allowed to go out to procure
commodities while strictly adhering to social distancing norms, use of sanitisers and masks.
In rural areas, all shops registered under the Shops & Establishment Act, except multi-brand and single-brand malls, will be allowed to open with 50 per cent strength of workers. Similarly, in urban areas, all standalone shops, neighbourhood shops and shops in residential complexes will be allowed to open. However, shops in markets and market complexes won’t be allowed to open.
Saloons, barber shops will continue to remain closed while e-commerce companies will continue to be permitted to deliver essential goods only. No liquor vend would be allowed to open.
The government has permitted construction activities in personal, residential and commercial buildings. All
kinds of new constructions in rural areas are also permitted without any restrictions. In urban areas, only on-going projects have been allowed subject to availability of workers at site.
In line with the guidelines of Union Ministry of Home Affairs, the state has also permitted industries in Special Economic Zones (SEZs) and Export Oriented Units (EOUs), industrial estates, industrial townships and industries in rural areas to operate subject to the condition of complying with the standard operating procedure.
The SOP requires that the management provide for special transportation of workers, in-house facility for labour, medical insurance of workers, arrangements for disinfecting the premises and thermal screening of employees.
While labourers will not be allowed to take public transport, they may be permitted to move on cycles or on foot if the workers are residing within a short distance from the industry. Passes for special transportation of workers from the district authorities will still be required. The management will also require passes for themselves and vehicles.
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