The Tamil Nadu government Sunday announced the extension of the ongoing lockdown till the midnight of June 30 with more relaxations such as the partial opening of public transport and allowing more employees at workplaces.
However, Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami said the curbs on religious places, inter-state bus transport, and metro and suburban rail services will continue.
Public transport will resume in the state with a limited number of services from June 1. However, Chennai, Kancheepuram, Tiruvallur, and Chengalpet districts, where the maximum number of cases are being reported currently, will not have public transport services. Private carriers will be allowed to operate in authorised routes alone, the announcement released by CM’s office said.
CM Palaniswami said the curfew was being extended till June 30 to prevent the spread of Covid-19 cases, under the State Disaster Management Act and following the guidelines issued by the Union Home Ministry.
A number of relaxations outside containment zones include allowing more employees at the workplace and permitting showrooms and jewellery shops to re-open. Malls will remain closed, the chief minister said.
Restrictions on public worship centres, shopping malls, educational institutions, international flights services, tourist activities in Nilgiris and Yercaud, cinema halls, swimming pools, bars, auditoriums and similar gatherings, community and political gatherings and meetings in auditoriums, inter-state bus services will continue. Section 144 will continue across the state.
From June 8, all non-AC restaurants and tea shops are allowed to serve customers with 50% strength. Wedding will be allowed with 50 people and funerals with 20 across the state.
Dividing the entire state into eight zones, limited number of public transport services will be started in the state. Buses will be operated with a strength of 60% passengers. With the launch of public transport, e-Pass system has been cancelled in the state for public movement. Chennai and neighbouring districts including Kancheepuram, Chengalpet and Thiruvallur will not have bus services.
In the Greater Chennai region, all showrooms and bigger shops, barring shopping malls, will be allowed to function with 50% employees and a limited number of customers at a time. Barring the Chennai region and containment zones, corporate firms such as IT companies are allowed to function with full strength. Grocery shops will be allowed to open between 6 am to 8 pm and other shops and liquor outlets will be opened from 10 am to 8 pm.
Tamil Nadu, with 21,184 cases, is among the states worst affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
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