A day after Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh ordered movement restrictions on weekends and gazetted holidays in the states, the government on Friday barred all inter-district movement except with e-passes, and ordered closure of all shops, except those selling essentials, and malls on Sundays.
In fresh guidelines, the government said that shops dealing with essential commodities/services shall remain open on all days till 7 pm.
Restaurants (for take home/home delivery only) and liquor shops will also continue to be open till 8 pm on all days.
However, other shops, whether standalone or in shopping malls, shall remain closed on Sundays, while on Saturdays they can open till 5 pm, with the district authorities directed to ensure strict compliance with these timings.
In addition to the Sunday closure, the District Magistrates may choose, in consultation with the respective market associations, to order closure of the non-essential shops on any other day of the week also, especially in the high-risk areas where the cases are high.
Inter-district movement shall be allowed against e-pass, which will be issued only for essential work, but no pass shall be required for such travel in case of medical emergency.
Further, e-pass will also be required for marriage functions, and will be issued only for 50 specific people.
Expressing grave concern over the spiralling Covid cases in the country, particularly Delhi, the Chief Minister once again appealed to the people of Punjab to strictly adhere to the social distancing norms and mandatory wearing of masks.
The situation demanded stringent compliance with all the restrictions, he stressed, adding that though the situation in the state was relatively in control, his government was not ready to take any chances, given the escalating trend of the pandemic.
The Chief Minister had, during a Covid preparedness review video conference meeting on Thursday, said his government’s focus was on saving the lives of Punjabis, even if it meant taking tough measures, particularly in the light of the grave projections of the pandemic peaking over the next two months.
The guidelines issued on Friday are in addition to those notified earlier by the state government for Lockdown 5.0 / Unlock 1.0, and will remain in force on weekends and gazette holidays till further orders.
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