The Tamil Nadu government on Sunday extended the coronavirus lockdown in containment zones till September 30, but announced significant relaxations in restrictions in other places. The ease on curbs included permission to open all places of worship, restarting metro services and doing away with e-passes for inter-district travel, The Hindu reported.
Under the new guidelines, the government will not impose a complete Sunday lockdown in the state from September. Metro train services will be allowed to resume from September 7, in line with the Centre’s “Unlock 4” guidelines.
The government has allowed all places of worship to open from September 1, according to The Times of India. Shopping malls can open with 100% staff strength but movie theaters will remain closed, The Hindu reported. All shops will be allowed to open till 8 pm. Schools, colleges, swimming pools, beaches and tourist places will remain closed.
Government offices and banks will also be allowed to function with their full staff strength from September 1. The government will, however, appoint a nodal officer to ensure that safety guidelines are followed.
The Tamil Nadu government said that hotels and resorts can resume their business, but with strict adherence to coronavirus-related standard operating procedures.
The people will no longer require e-passes for inter-district movements, but the permits will be required for travel from other states. Bus services between districts will also resume from September 1. Suburban train services will remain suspended.
The Tamil Nadu government said that it will issue fresh guidelines for international and domestic air passengers. The Chennai Airport will be allowed to receive 50 flights per day.
The state government also said that the shooting of films can resume, but not more than 75 crew members will be allowed.
Tamil Nadu has reported over 4 lakh coronavirus cases and 7,137 deaths so far, according to the Union health ministry.