Doing away with most restrictions after Punjab’s Covid positivity rate slid to 0.4 per cent, the state government Friday ordered lifting of the weekend and night curfews and allowed gatherings of 100 persons indoors and 200 outdoors starting July 12.
Chief Minister Amarinder Singh also directed the state police chief, Dinkar Gupta, to challan all political leaders violating the Covid rules while holding rallies and protest meetings.
He also ordered opening of bars, cinema halls, restaurants, spas, swimming pools, gyms, malls, sports complexes, museums, zoos to those who have received at least one dose of the Covid-19 vaccine.
Schools, however, will continue to remain closed.
Colleges, coaching centres and all institutes of higher learning shall be allowed to open by deputy commissioners subject to submission of a certificate that the teaching, non-teaching staff members and students have got at least one dose of vaccine.
Announcing the easing of restrictions during a review meeting, the CM said use of masks must be ensured at all times.
State Health Secretary Hussan Lal said four districts had shown positivity of 1 per cent or less but the districts that still need vigilance are Ludhiana, Amritsar, Gurdaspur, Hoshiarpur, Ferozpur and Ropar.
The CM asked the concerned departments to step up Whole Genome Sequencing (WGS) to expeditiously identify cases of new Covid variant and to fast track the project for execution of the MoU with ICMR for Regional Institute of Virology at Mohali.
Though no fresh cases of Delta Plus variant had been identified in the state, the CM directed that the WGS Lab at GMCH Patiala , coming up with the support of PATH, must become functional this month. PATH has informed that the machine is likely to be installed by July 25, as per a government statement.