Tamil Nadu on Sunday extended the lockdown till June 30, a day after the Centre announced a graded exit plan, with more relaxations that included opening up public transport partially and allowing more employees at workplaces.
The southern state is among the worst affected by the coronavirus pandemic with 21,184 Covid-19 cases and 160 deaths. It witnessed the biggest single-day spike of 938 new coronavirus cases on Saturday.
“To prevent the spread of coronavirus, the curfew is being extended till June 30 under the State Disaster Management Act and as per the Union Home Ministry’s notification,” chief minister K Palaniswami said in a statement.
The state government also announced a number of other relaxations, barring containment zones, and these include permitting showrooms and jewellery shops to re-open but not malls.
Pubic transport will resume with reduced services from June 1 but buses will not be allowed in Chennai, Kancheepurm, Tiruvallur and Chengalpet districts. They have the highest number of Covid-19 cases in the state.
Private stage carriers will be allowed to operate on authorised routes.
The curbs on religious places, inter-state bus transport, and Metro and suburban rails would continue.
Here is what will remain closed:
* Temples and other places of worship will not be opened
* Parks, beaches, cinema halls, gyms and educational institutions will also continue to be closed
* There will be no change in lockdown norms in containment areas
* Ban on inter-state transport will remain in place.
In non-containment areas of greater Chennai, Tiruvallur, Kanchipuram and Chengalpet, the following are allowed:
* All private companies can work with 50% staff
* IT companies have been permitted to ferry up to 40 employees in their own transport to work
* Big showrooms, except malls and barring in containment zones can open with 50% staff but without air conditioners. This includes textiles and jewellery shops. Five customers have been permitted to enter these places
* Hotels can operate with 50% seats from June 8 and people can sit and eat. But AC shouldn’t be operated. Earlier only takeaways were allowed. Seating arrangements should be according to physical distancing norms
* Salons and beauty parlours can function without AC. The government has said it will issue separate guidelines later.
* In taxis, only three people, excluding the driver, can travel
* In auto-rickshaws and cycle rickshaws, only two people are allowed, excluding the driver
* E-pass will not be required if someone is travelling within Chennai
* Tea shops in the state will also be allowed to open from June 8 with 50% occupancy.
Here is what will happen in the rest of Tamil Nadu:
* Private companies can function with 100% strength but work from home should be encouraged
* Shops of the Tamil Nadu State Marketing Corporation (Tasmac) can function from 10am to 8pm
* Non-essential e-commerce delivery has been allowed.