Four districts of Kerala, which are witnessing a severe Covid spread, would be placed under a highly restrictive ‘triple lockdown’ for a week starting Monday.
The ‘triple lockdown’, for which detailed guidelines have been issued, will come into effect in Malappuram, Thrissur, Ernakulam and Thiruvananthapuram districts at midnight. In the remaining 10 districts, a general lockdown will continue till May 23 with more exemptions being allowed.
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The ‘triple lockdown’ strategy, which was experimented with in Thiruvananthapuram and Kasaragod districts successfully last year, involves focused interventions by the administration and law enforcement agencies at three levels to clamp down on the movement of the public and ensure smooth operation of essential sectors.
As a part of the restrictions, bakeries and shops selling grocery items, vegetables and fruits, fish and meat and other items under cold storage are permitted to operate for three days in a week from 8 am till 2 pm.
In Ernakulam, the shops can open on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. In other districts, there may be slight changes in timings and the days allowed for operation. Retailers are encouraged to deliver items to homes through volunteers of ward-level rapid response teams if possible. People have been advised to buy groceries and vegetables from shops near their homes.
Street hawkers and those selling food on carts are not permitted to operate. Restaurants can operate from 8 am to 7.30 pm without dine-in or parcel facilities. Only home delivery of food will be allowed.
Distribution of newspapers and milk, are allowed till 8 am. Those working in electrical and telecommunication sectors can travel through the district using their identification cards. Domestic helps and home nurses can travel using a pass obtained through the Kerala Police.
Ration shops, Maveli and SupplyCo stores and other public distribution shops can operate till 5 pm. There are no restrictions on the operation of petrol pumps, medical stores, ATMs, shops selling medical equipment, hospitals and clinical labs.
It has been advised that all marriages, funerals and other public and private functions be postponed. However, those which have been pre-decided before the lockdown can take place with a maximum of 20 people in attendance. Organisers of such functions must register on the Covid-19 Jagratha portal.
All places of worship are to remain closed. In Ernakulam district, banks can operate on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 10 am till 2 pm with minimum staff. E-commerce and delivery personnel can operate from 7 am to 2 pm.
Exits and entrances to all four districts will be closed barring one for essential travel. Those travelling between the districts have to obtain special passes from the police. Owners of construction firms and plantations have been directed not to bring labourers from other districts or states into worksites. All roads leading to panchayats which have been classified as containment zones will be barricaded.