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Tuesday, May 18, 2021

Explained: No lockdown, but what Covid-19 restrictions has Kerala announced?

The Kerala government will press ahead with restrictions on non-essential activities and weekend curfews to curb the spread of coronavirus, CM Pinarayi Vijayan said after a virtual all-party meeting.

By: Explained Desk | Kochi |
Updated: April 30, 2021 8:39:49 am
A policeman checks on commuters during weekend restrictions imposed to curb of coronavirus in Kochi, Kerala, Sunday, April 25, 2021. (AP Photo/R S Iyer)

Kerala has announced that the state will not see a total lockdown, but strict restrictions will remain in place to control Covid spread. What did Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan say on the lockdown and what are the new restrictions?

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What Vijayan said

The Kerala government will press ahead with restrictions on non-essential activities and weekend curfews to curb the spread of coronavirus, Vijayan said Monday after a virtual all-party meeting earlier in the day.

“Representatives of all political parties backed the government’s stand of not imposing a total lockdown in the state at the moment. However, they all agreed that stringent restrictions will have to be continued. The public must be made aware and alert about the Covid-19 protocols to be followed,” the CM told reporters.

“The UK variant of the virus, which has high transmissibility, and the more fatal South African variant have been found in different parts of Kerala. The UK variant was found more in the northern districts. If we don’t apply stringent restrictions now, the situation could become extremely critical,” the CM said.

What are the rules

The political party representatives unanimously agreed that no celebrations or victory processions should be allowed on May 2, when the state counts its votes of the recently held Assembly elections. Only officials in charge of counting, counting agents of political parties and journalists will have access to counting centres across the state. It will be mandatory for such persons to either take two doses of the Covid-19 vaccine or carry a negative RT-PCR result certificate obtained within 72 hours to get access to the counting centres. General public will not be allowed near the counting premises.

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Meanwhile, the 9 pm-5 am night curfews and the weekend curfews, during which only essential activities will be allowed, shall continue, the CM added. Public transport will carry on unhindered. For private transport during curfews, people will have to state reasons for stepping out.

Cinema theatres, shopping malls, gymnasiums, sports complexes, clubs, swimming pools, tourism parks, bars and outlets selling foreign liquor will be temporarily shut down across the state.

Religious places, especially mosques during the ongoing Ramzan, must control crowds to less than 50 at a time. The faithful should be advised to bring their own mats for prayers and use pipe-water to wash hands and feet instead of common tanks. Government offices will function with 50% of staff capacity.

No more than 50 people can attend weddings while the same for funerals is 20. All such functions shall be held after registering on the Covid-19 jagratha portal.

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