Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said on Tuesday that the coronavirus lockdown will be relaxed in the state based on the test positivity rate at the local self-government body level, reported ANI. The relaxations will come into effect from Thursday.

The chief minister said that shops will be allowed to open in local bodies with the test positivity rate below 8% and these areas can function normally with certain restrictions. Weekend lockdowns, however, will continue in the state.

On Monday, the test positivity rate in Kerala was 11.26%, reported India Today. Currently, 14 local bodies have a test positivity rate of more than 35%. Thirty-seven of them have the rate between 28 and 35%. The rate in over 120 local bodies is between 21% and 28%.

“Since the second wave has come somewhat under control, it has been decided to relax the lockdown restrictions in the state,” Vijayan said. “However, in some LSGs [local self-government body], the test positivity rate remains high. These will be classified as containment zones and strict restrictions will be imposed here. There will be restrictions in some LSGs where the TPR [test positivity rate] may not be high, but above the danger mark.”

A complete lockdown was imposed in the state on May 8.

“Kerala on June 15 reported 12,246 cases,” the chief minister said, according to The News Minute. “On May 6, the state had reported 42,464 cases. The TPR on May 15 was 27.8%. The average TPR in the last three days has been 12.1%. The TPR in all districts except Thiruvananthapuram is below 15%.”

Relaxations based on test positivity rate

In areas where the test positivity rate is between 8% and 20%, shops selling essential items will only be allowed to open from 7 am to 7 pm. Other shops in these areas can operate on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays with 50% of their employee strength. These places will have a complete lockdown.

Shops selling essential commodities can operate between 7 am and 7 pm in places where the rate is above 20%. Other shops can open on Fridays only with 50% of their staff. A partial lockdown will be imposed in these areas.

A triple lockdown will be imposed in areas where the rate is over 30%.

General relaxations

The Kerala government said that both the state and central government offices will be allowed to function from Thursday with 25% attendance on a rotational basis. The government secretariat will operate with 50% attendance on a rotational basis as well.

Public transportation will also be permitted with some continued restrictions. Banks will continue to function on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Liquor shops can open and beverage corporation outlets as well as bars have been permitted to operate between 9 am and 7 pm.

The government said that restaurants will not be permitted to resume dine-in services but take away and home delivery will continue. Weddings and funerals can take place with up to 20 attendees. No large gatherings or public events has been allowed.

Tourism, entertainment functions and other events with indoor gatherings, including malls, will not be allowed to function. However, sports with no-contact rules will be permitted.

The government also said that all national-level and state public examinations will be permitted.