Kerala Lockdown 4.0 Guidelines: Kerala has largely acceded to the relaxations granted by the Centre for the ongoing fourth phase of the nationwide coronavirus lockdown, on till May 31.
Schools, colleges, training centres, gyms, malls, theatres and religious places will remain closed till May 31, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan announced Monday.
Salons and beauty parlours can provide hair-cutting, shaving and hair-dressing services with necessary safety precautions in place. Air-conditioning will not be allowed. More than two people are not allowed to stand in the queue.
Government offices and non-core private establishments can operate with 50% of the staff on all working days. The remaining half can work from home. All police units have begun to work with 50% of the staff on duty. The remaining half has been kept at home as reserve force. The changes in police routines were made after three officers were infected in Wayanad district.
The state also gave the go-ahead on the plying of buses, auto-rickshaws, cabs and boats within district limits, at 50 per cent of the seating capacity. Minimum ticket rates on buses have been hiked by 50% to offset losses faced by operators.
On auto-rickshaws, two people (if family) can ride together, apart from the driver. If not family, only a single person can ride apart from the driver. On two-wheelers, two people can travel if they are family members. Otherwise, only person will be allowed.
While inter-district public transport will not be available till May 31, people can ply their private vehicles between 7 am and 7 pm from one district to the other, except in containment zones. The rule of procuring special passes from police for the same has been done away with. Passengers can display their identification cards for police verification. All transport within containment zones will be strictly monitored by the police.
The government has provided relaxations to shopping complexes by allowing them to operate with 50% of the shops on any given day. Managements of such complexes can get permission from the administration and decide which shop can be open on which day. Restaurants cannot allow dine-in services but the timings for home-delivery have been extended till 10 pm.
Liquor distribution remains suspended across the state. However, the government is set to reopen retail outlets of state-run BEVCO and Consumerfed and bar counters for parcel service once an online mechanism for sale of liquor falls into place. Clubs can also dispense liquor and food to their members.
According to sources in the excise department, a startup has come up with a mobile app through which customers can buy virtual tokens for prescribed amounts of liquor. They will be provided date, time and details of the nearest liquor outlet. On the specified date and time, customers can buy the liquor from the BEVCO outlet without standing in long queues. The virtual queue system had been implemented by the state police on several occasions for the annual pilgrimage at Sabarimala.
The government reiterated that the state will observe strict clampdowns on all Sundays until further notice in order to ensure social distancing and breaking the chain of transmission of the virus. On Sundays, the aforementioned lockdown relaxations will not apply.
The Kerala government said more trains have been sought from the Railways to transport stranded Malayalis from states like Gujarat, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Bihar and Madhya Pradesh. At present, such people who want to return to the state are forced to drive their private vehicles all the way by registering and procuring digital passes on the Covid-Jagratha portal.
On Monday, the state reported 29 new infections, taking the number of active cases to 130. Among the new infections, 21 people have returned from Gulf countries and seven people from other states. A case has been registered against three foreign-returnees for hiding symptoms of Covid upon arrival.
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