The much-relaxed fourth phase of the lockdown began with restarting of market complexes, autos, taxis and inter-state buses in various parts of the country.
With an aim to reboot numerous locked down economic activities, authorities across the country ordered reopening of markets, intra-state transport services and even of barber shops and salons in some states, barring in containment zones. However, schools, colleges, theatres, malls and religious gatherings would remain shut down, at least till May 31.
BENGAL TO OPEN BIG STORES AND SALONS
While extending lockdown in the state till May 31 in accordance with Centre’s guidelines, West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee on Monday announced that no night curfew will be imposed by her government.
The state government has divided containment Zones into three categories: A (affected zone), B (buffer zone) and C (clean zone). While most restrictions will be placed in zone A, there will be some relaxations in the B zone and complete relaxation in C zone.
All big stores in the state will be allowed to open from May 21 in non-containment zones, Mamata Banerjee announced.
The state government has also given autorickshaws permission to ply from May 27 but only with two passengers. Interdistrict bus services will resume from May 21.
Hawkers markets may open on alternative days based on an odd-even formula. Police commissions and municipalities will lay down the fine print of hawking areas so that social distancing norms are strictly followed.
While restaurants shall continue to remain shut, hotels, salons and parlours have been allowed to resume functioning outside non-containment areas with proper sanitization.
“Private offices, too, have been allowed to operate with up to 50 per cent workforce,” the chief minister announced.
NO RELAXATIONS IN 12 TAMIL NADU DISTRICTS
As the country enters the fourth phase of the lockdown, Tamil Nadu has divided itself into two. Twelve districts, including the capital Chennai, will not see any relaxations from the existing ones while 25 districts which are recovering well from Covid-19 pandemic observed new relaxations starting Monday.
The 12 districts which will not see any new relaxations include Chennai, Kanchipuram, Thiruvallur, Chengalpattu, Villupuram and Cuddalore.
The 25 districts where new relaxations were put in place include Coimbatore, Salem, Erode, Tirupur, Namakkal, Karur, Thirunelveli, Thootukudi, Tenkasi, Kanyakumari, Theni, Madurai and Sivagangai. Movement within the 25 districts no longer requires an epass.
However, an e-pass is needed for movement between districts. MNREGA works can function with 100% workforce. Industries and factories employing less than 100 people can function with full workforce.
Establishments employing more than 100 people can function with 50% workforce. Hired taxis can be used to transport essential services. Government offices will function with 50% workforce.
Employees work at the Secretariat in Chennai on Monday.
Barbers operating in rural Tamil Nadu and who do not come under cities, municipalities, corporations and town panchayats are allowed to resume their services.
State buses will function only to pick and drop government employees.
NORMS EASED IN K’TAKA; BUSES, TAXIS GET SIGNAL
Karnataka is finally alive and kicking, at least a large part of it. Lockdown 4.0 has breathed life into what was easily becoming a major concern for the chief minister. On Tuesday, after a meeting with his cabinet colleagues, CM BS Yediyurappa said public transport will be allowed across the state along with train operations as well.
There will not be any colour coded zones anymore however, strict lockdown measures will be enforced in containment zones. Economic activities will be allowed to function in all other areas.
People will be allowed to travel to other districts in non AC Rajahamsa buses but they need to compulsorily wear masks, carry hand sanitizers and maintain social distance at all times.
For people who walk in the parks, they can do so for 2 hours in the morning from 7-9am and another 2 hours in the evening from 5-7pm. Karnataka has also decided to have a cold complete lockdown on Sundays with only essential services functioning.
Cabs and autos will also be allowed to ply on the roads.
Cabs can have 3 people including the driver while autos can also function.
Barber shops will also open but there as well, proper hygiene will need to be maintained.
COMPLETE LOCKDOWN ON SUNDAYS IN KERALA
Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Monday held a press conference where he told media outlets that schools, colleges and training centres will not be allowed to open in the state as of yet. He also told media persons that a complete lockdown will be enforced each Sunday.
He added that public travel has been given the go-ahead but only with 50 per cent seating capacity to maintain social distancing.
Passengers will not be allowed to stand inside vehicles and local travel is only permitted in non-containment zones.
Civilians can only travel from one district to the other without any special pass but an ID card will be mandatory for the same, CM Vijayan said. He further added that a maximum of two people will be allowed to travel in a taxi, one passenger in an autorickshaw. A pillion rider will be allowed on motorcycles if the rider is a family member.
At the same time, morning walks and cycling will not be allowed. Shops inside shopping complexes in Kerala will now be allowed to function on alternate days with 50 per cent of the workforce.
Barbershops will also be able to operate but without AC and only for hair cutting, hairdressing and shaving. At one time, only two people will be allowed to wait outside a barbershop and customers will be encouraged to book their appointments through mobile and take their own towels, Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan said.
For liquor stores, the chief minister said that they can deliver beverages home once the online registration process is enabled. He added that clubs can also function with limited members.
Meanwhile, government offices in Kerala are to operate with 50 per cent staff and Saturday will be a holiday until further notice.
Places of worship will also remain closed as a precaution.
DEVOTEES THRONG TEMPLES AS PUNJAB LIFTS CURFEW
The first day of the extended lockdown saw devotees violating social distancing norms in the famous Golden Temple and some other temples including Bhadrakali Mandir in Amritsar on Monday.
The Punjab government has ended the curfew and allowed movement of people within the state from 7 am to 7 pm. Restrictions in the containment zones, however, continue as lockdown in the state has been extended to May 31.
Devotees offer a chunni on a statue of the Goddess Kali at the Bhadrakali Temple in Amritsar on Monday
Punjab has allowed the movement of cab aggregators, taxis and four wheelers. The state government has imposed restrictions on the number of persons that can travel in taxis, autos and rickshaws. Shops in Punjab can now reopen. The Punjab government has allowed the shops to open from 7 am to 6 pm.
The Punjab government has also allowed inter-state movement of buses, but with mutual consent of other states.
Punjab has allowed barber shops and salons to reopen. The salons and barber shops have been asked by the administration to ensure social distancing and prevent overcrowding.
Sports complexes and stadiums have been allowed to open in Punjab, but no spectators will be allowed.
While movement of people has been allowed in Punjab from 7 am for 12 hours, night curfew will be implemented across the state from 7 pm to 7 am. People above 65 years of age, persons with co-morbidities, pregnant women, children aged below 10 shall have to stay at home. These relaxations do not apply to containment zones.
Hotels, restaurants, cinema halls, malls, swimming pools, gyms will continue to remain shut till May 31.
MP ALLOWS PUBLIC TRANSPORT IN GREEN ZONES
Lockdown 4 will have only two zones-red and green-in Madhya Pradesh, state Chief Minister Shivraj Singh announced in a televised address on Monday.
While the entire districts of Indore and Ujjain have been kept in the red zone, the same has been confined to the municipal and nagar palika limits in Bhopal, Burhanpur, Jabalpur, Khandwa, Dewas Mandsaur, Neemuch and Dhar.
Rest of Madhya Pradesh has been declared a green zone where all markets will open from Tuesday. Malls and cinema halls will however remain closed in both the red and green zones.
Schools and colleges will also remain closed. The red zones have further been divided into containment and buffer areas.
Economic activity will be started in the green zone areas and industry would be allowed to get their work force in buses for which the government will assist in making arrangements.