The Tamil Nadu government on Thursday announced that the existing lockdown in the state to tackle the coronavirus crisis will continue till August 31, but with more relaxations, PTI reported.
In a statement, Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami said that complete lockdown would be imposed across the state with strict restrictions on all Sundays next month – August 2, 9, 16, 23 and 30. The Independence Day celebrations on August 15 will be held as per the Centre’s recommendations, following physical distancing guidelines and use of masks, he added.
Palaniswami said the move to extend the lockdown till August 31 was based on the inputs from district collectors, medical and public health experts and senior ministers.
Under the new relaxations, e-commerce companies are allowed to deliver non-essential goods, according to The News Minute. All commercial establishments, private firms and export companies, can function with 75% workforce, up from 50%. Hotels, restaurants and tea stalls can operate with 50% occupancy and customers can dine-in from 6 am to 7 pm. Meanwhile, delivery services will be permitted from 6 am to 9 pm. Other shops, including groceries and provision stores, allowed to operate earlier between 10 am and 6 pm, can now function till 7 pm.
Small places of worship, with annual income less than Rs 10,000, can be opened by following the Standard Operating Procedure issued earlier. Prominent places of worship cannot open.
The lockdown restrictions imposed in containment zones will continue as usual, while business and trade organisations should continue to recommend their employees to work from home, the chief minister added. E-pass is mandatory for travel between districts and for entry into Tamil Nadu from other states. Similarly, the ban on air and train travel, except for operations permitted by the Centre, will continue to be in force. Theatres, gyms, swimming pools and parks will remain closed across the state.
Tamil Nadu has so far recorded 2,34,114 coronavirus cases with 3,741 deaths.