No lockdown in Punjab ; Home Dept imposes additional restrictions

In Punjab, there will be no lockdown but the Home Department has imposed additional restrictions. All shops selling non-essential items  are to remain closed till May 15th. An official spokesperson said that the orders issued yesterday have come into force in all the districts with immediate effect.
The spokesperson said that the shops except those of essential items including Chemist shops and shops selling milk, bread, vegetables, fruits, dairy and poultry products like eggs, meat, mobile repair etc will remain closed. The shops which have been exempted from COVID restrictions will adhere to COVID protocols. There will be no restriction on laboratories, nursing homes and all other medical establishments.
The spokesperson further informed that no one can enter the state by air, rail or road without producing either a Negative COVID report not more than 72 hours old, or a Vaccination certificate (at least one dose) over 2 weeks old.
All Government offices as well as banks will work at 50% strength other than those where officials are involved in COVID management. The spokesperson added that the Deputy Commissioners are authorised to draft services of any official for COVID management and related duties.
The spokesperson said that all Four-Wheeler Passenger vehicles, including Cars and taxis are not allowed to seat more than 2 passengers. However, vehicles carrying patients to hospitals are exempted.
Similarly, no pillion riders are allowed on scooters and motorcycles except those belonging to the same family and living in the same house.
Likewise, no gathering of more than 10 persons is to be allowed including for weddings, cremations or funerals.
The spokesperson said that the villages have been asked to organise Thikri Pehras to ensure that ‘Night Curfew’ and ‘Weekend Curfew’ Orders are complied with.  Social distancing is to be maintained in Sabzi Mandis, which would be open only to fruit and vegetable wholesalers.
Kisan Unions and religious leaders have been urged not to hold gatherings and restrict the number of protesters to token presence at Toll Plazas, Petrol Pumps, Malls etc.
The spokesperson said that there shall be a complete ban across the State on all political gatherings.  For any gathering organised in violation of these orders, FIRs will be registered against the organisers and participants as well as against the owners of the venue and the tent houses under the Disaster Management Act and the Epidemic Diseases Act. Besides,  such venues  will be sealed for 3 months.
Persons who have attended large religious, political or social gatherings anywhere are to be mandatorily home quarantined for 5 days and tested as per protocol. All educational institutions i.e. schools and colleges are to remain closed but the teaching and non-teaching staff of Government schools are to attend duty.
However, all the medical and nursing colleges may continue to remain open. All recruitment exams are to be postponed, unless it relates to recruitment of COVID management related manpower.
Similarly, all Private Offices, including Service Industry, such as offices of Architects, Chartered Accountants, Insurance Companies etc., allowed to ‘Work from Home’ only.
In Government offices – Health or frontline workers and employees over 45 years who have not got at least one vaccine dose in last 15 days or more, should be encouraged to take leave and stay home until then. Employees under 45 years to be allowed only on basis of negative RT-PCR not more than 5 days old or else should take leave and stay home.
Grievance redressal by all the government offices shall be preferred through virtual/on-line modes and public dealings are to be discouraged as far as possible and allowed only where deemed unavoidable.
Likewise, Revenue Department shall also endeavour to limit appointments to public to bare minimum for execution of Conveyance Deeds for sale and purchase of properties.
The district authorities have been asked to ensure strict implementation of all the extant directives of Ministry of Home Affairs /State Government on COVID appropriate behaviour including social distancing norm of minimum 6 feet distance (Do Gaz Ki Doori), regulating crowds in market places and public transport, and imposition of penalties prescribed for violation of Covid appropriate behaviour like wearing of face masks and spitting in public places.

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