TN extends Covid-19 lockdown till July 5, relaxes curbs

More curbs eased in Tamil Nadu: Malls, gyms; places of worship to reopen from June 28

People would have access to beaches between 5 AM and 9 AM across the state

Representative image. Credit: iStock Photo

The Tamil Nadu government on Friday announced more relaxations in lockdown norms, effective June 28, and they include re-opening places of worship and malls in four districts and resumption of public transport in 23 other districts.

Gyms, yoga centres (50 per cent occupancy), museums and protected monuments would open in a total of 27 districts (10 AM to 5 PM) and barring 11 other districts, including Coimbatore and Thanjavur. Also, people would have access to beaches between 5 AM and 9 AM across the state, an official release here said.

The government extended by one more week other restrictions as part of the lockdown norms till 6 AM on July 5 and they include closure of bars and cinemas. Shopping complexes, malls and places of worship would re-open in four districts of Chennai, Kancheepuram, Tiruvallur and Chengelpet in northern Tamil Nadu with relatively less number of cases and which fall in third category.

All kinds of textile showrooms, and jewelleries could operate in these four districts by allowing a maximum of 50 per cent customers. Private establishments could work with 100 per cent workforce in Chennai and three other districts.

The government has categorised 38 districts into three separate groups in keeping with the incidence of COVID-19 cases for the purpose of easing curbs.

Non-airconditioned bus services, including inter- district operations, shall resume with 50 per cent occupancy in as many as 23 other districts in the second group.

Bus services are already operational only in Chennai, and three nearby districts, including Chengelpet. In the first category of 11 other districts with comparatively more cases, time duration for functioning of a variety of retail outlets besides tea shops have been extended till 7 PM (previously upto 2 PM for certain shops and 5 PM for others).

In these districts under the first group, government offices related to essential services would operate with 100 per cent employees and those in other wings shall work with 50 per cent workforce. Government offices in other regions already work with full strength.

These 11 districts include seven in western parts (including Coimbatore) and four in Cauvery delta region like Thanjavur. The e-pass requirement has been largely dispensed with in districts under group two and three and for purposes of attending marriage functions in category one areas, an e-pass would be needed.

The 23 districts in the second category include Ariyalur, Cuddalore, Dharmapuri, Dindigul, Kallakurichi, Kanyakumari, Krishnagiri, Madurai, Perambalur, Pudukottai, Ramanathapuram, Ranipet and Sivaganga. Effective June 14, the government allowed more relaxations for 27 districts and it includes re-opening of government-run retail liquor outlets and salons.

With a spike in coronavirus cases, the state government clamped a lockdown from May 10. Following a gradual decrease in the number of cases, the government has been relaxing curbs more and more in a phased manner.

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