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Punjab eases Covid curbs, opens eateries, cinema halls, gyms at half capacity

Under the new guidelines, which will remain in effect till June 25, daily night curfew will be in place from 8 pm to 5 am and weekend curfew will be imposed from 8 pm on Saturday up to 5 am on Monday across the state.

By: Express News Service | Chandigarh |
June 15, 2021 9:02:05 pm
Chairing a virtual Covid review meeting, Chief Minister Amarinder Singh ordered the reopening of all restaurants, cafes, coffee shops, fast food outlets, dhabas, cinema halls, gyms at maximum 50 per cent capacity, subject to all their employees having received at least one dose of vaccination.(Express Photo by Kamleshwar Singh/File)

With the Covid positivity rate dropping to two per cent in Punjab, Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh Tuesday eased restrictions, allowing restaurants, cinema halls and gyms to operate at 50 per cent capacity beginning Wednesday.

Now, 50 people are allowed at weddings and cremations. Earlier, 20 persons were allowed for such social gatherings.

Under the new guidelines, which will remain in effect till June 25, daily night curfew will be in place from 8 pm to 5 am and weekend curfew will be imposed from 8 pm on Saturday up to 5 am on Monday across the state. However, all essential activities, including those covered under existing exemptions, will remain unaffected, unhindered and exempted from curfew restrictions.

Earlier, the night curfew was from 7 pm to 6 am.

Chairing a virtual Covid review meeting, Chief Minister Amarinder Singh ordered the reopening of all restaurants, cafes, coffee shops, fast food outlets, dhabas, cinema halls, gyms at maximum 50 per cent capacity, subject to all their employees having received at least one dose of vaccination. Air conditioned buses can also ply with 50 per cent occupation.

Bars, pubs and ‘ahatas’ (tavern) shall, however, continue to remain closed. All educational institutions will also continue to be closed.

District authorities have been asked to determine opening timings of non-essential shops on the basis of the local situation, while ensuring that crowds are avoided. The authorities shall also continue to ensure strict implementation of all the extant directives of the government on Covid-appropriate behaviour, the CM added.

The announcements came as Chief Secretary Vini Mahajan, citing a University of Cambridge Judge Business School report of June 14 on Growth of Infection in Punjab, told the meeting that based on its findings, all districts are on downward trajectories for new cases. “The estimated trend value of the daily growth rate was -9.2 per cent as of June 14. This implies that reported new cases will halve in seven days, under the assumption that the growth rate remains constant. As of June 14, the estimated reproduction number for Punjab stood at 0.69, significantly below one. Newly reported Covid-19 cases are likely to decline to about 210 per day by June 28,” she added.

Further, said Vini, while numbers of cases are low, there are indications that the growth rates of cases, while negative, have recently reversed direction from their downward paths in Fazilka, Jalandhar, and Shahid Bhagat Singh Nagar. The projected number of deaths by June 28 stand at 21.

The state had hit its second wave peak on May 8, with 9100 cases, which had come down to a low of 629 on June 14.

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