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Sunday, June 20, 2021

Uttar Pradesh: Covid restrictions relaxed in 55 districts

However, the weekend curfew and night curfew across the state will continue as before.

By: Express News Service | Lucknow |
Updated: May 31, 2021 3:03:24 am
Deserted streets in Varanasi on Sunday with the Covid curbs in place. (PTI)

Taking note of a steady fall in Covid-19 cases, the UP government Sunday decided to ease restrictions in districts where active cases have dropped below 600. However, the weekend curfew and night curfew across the state will continue as before.

As of Sunday, 55 districts had fewer than 600 active Covid-19 cases, a government release said, adding that stricter curfew regulations will be imposed in another 20 districts which still have more than the minimum threshold in active cases. The existing norms will remain in force in these districts till Monday morning, while the new regulations will take effect from 7am Monday.

The 20 districts with more than 600 active Covid cases are Meerut, Lucknow, Saharanpur, Varanasi, Ghaziabad, Gorakhpur, Muzaffarnagar, Bareilly, Gautam Budh Nagar, Bulandshahr, Jhansi, Prayagraj, Lakhimpur Kheri, Sonbhadra, Jaunpur, Baghpat, Moradabad, Ghazipur, Bijnor and Deoria.

“With the Covid situation in Uttar Pradesh getting better with every passing day, the state government has decided to give some relief to the people. The relaxations, however, would only apply for districts with less than 600 active cases. As of May 30, there are 55 districts under that category. In these districts the Covid curfew will be relaxed five days a week from 7 am to 7 pm outside containment zones. The weekend curfew on Saturday and Sunday, and night curfew from 7 pm will, however, continue across the state. In 20 districts which do not fall under the said category of less than 600 active cases, the strictness will be increased so that they, too, have lesser cases,” read the order issued by Additional Chief Secretary (Home) Awanish Kumar Awasthi.

It said if the number of active cases in any of the 55 districts crosses 600-mark over the next few days, they will automatically come under districts where the stricter Covid curfew will be in force. Similarly, if the number of active cases in a certain district goes below 600, it will be entitled to loosening of curbs as in other districts where cases are down below the minimum threshold.

As part of relaxations, markets and shops outside containment zones in districts with less than 600 active cases will be allowed to function from Monday to Friday. During Saturdays and Sundays, a fogging and cleanliness campaign will be conducted in both rural and urban areas across the state. Both the shopkeepers, staff and customers will have to adhere to basic Covid protocols of facemasks, social distancing and use of hand sanitizers. Should anyone fail to comply, action will be taken under the Epidemic Act, the order said.

In addition to this, no more than 25 guests at a time will be allowed in any function. For last rites, no more than 20 people will be allowed to participate. In three-wheelers such as auto rickshaws and e-rickshaws, a maximum of three persons, including the driver, will be allowed, while in case of four-wheelers, a maximum four persons will be allowed. Shops selling eggs, meat and fish will be allowed to open in closed spaces with proper sanitization. However, coaching institutions, cinemas, swimming pools, bars and shopping malls will remain closed.

While schools, colleges and other educational institutes will remain closed, permission for online classes in secondary and higher education institutes will be subject to departmental orders.

Financial service providers such as banks and insurance companies will be working full-time. Home delivery from restaurants will be allowed and roadside stalls on highways and expressways will also be allowed to function. Government departments involved in Covid management will have to ensure full attendance, while all other offices will open with a maximum of 50 percent attendance. Private companies have been asked to encourage the work-from-home option as much as possible, while industrial institutions will open and the employees will be allowed to travel on production of their ID cards. Offices of transport and logistics companies, as well as warehouses will also remain open.

However, no more than five devotees will be allowed inside a religious place outside a containment zone. State buses will be allowed to ply within the state on the condition that the operators conform to the seating limit as set by the government.

Earlier, the government issued a statement saying that the decision on relaxing the restrictions was taken following a detailed discussion between the CM and his state-level Team-9 members. The CM said the curfew produced the desired results as he thanked the people of the state for their support.

As per the state data on Sunday, UP recorded 1,908 cases in the last 24 hours, registering a decline of 95 percent from its peak. With 140 deaths in the last 24 hours, the overall toll is now at 20,346. The number of active cases now stands at 41,214.

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