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India’s Tamil Nadu extends lockdown till June 30, allows partial resumption of public transport, restaurants

Lockdown in Tamil Nadu (India) has been extended till June 30. (Rep photo: PTI). Sketched by the Pan Pacific Agency.

NEW DELHI, May 31, 2020, India Today. The Tamil Nadu government on Sunday extended the coronavirus lockdown till June 30, albeit with more relaxations that include the partial and conditional resumption of public transport and restaurants. The lockdown curbs, ordered in March to stop the spread of coronavirus, will, however, continue in the containment areas that have the highest concentration of Covid-19 infections, India Today reported.

The new guidelines for Tamil Nadu have come hours after the Central government extended the coronavirus-induced lockdown till June 30 but ordered reopening of prohibited activities in a phased manner in areas outside the containment zones.

“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.

Given the economic situation, the Tamil Nadu government has allowed public transport to resume with 50 per cent fleet and 60 per cent capacity except for Chennai, Kanchipuram, Thiruvallur and Chengalpattu districts, having the highest concentration of coronavirus cases in the state.

Curbs on religious places, inter-state bus transport, and Metro and suburban rails would continue.

Private stage carriers will be allowed to operate in authorised routes. No e-pass is required for movement within the zones and for traveling in public transport within the zones. However, it has been made mandatory for interstate travel and to travel to Chennai, Kanchipuram, Thiruvallur, and Chengalpattu.

Taxis can ply within authorised zones without an e-pass with one driver and three passengers. While cycle rickshaws have not been allowed to run, autos can operate with one driver and two passengers.

The restaurants in the state will be allowed to reopen from June 8 with only 50 per cent seating capacity, provided physical distancing norms are maintained at all times. All shopping centers and complexes, except malls, can function with 50 per cent manpower. At a time, only five customers will be allowed inside the shops.

Factories can operate with 100 per cent workforce. IT and IT-based companies can function with 100 per cent workforce, albeit 20 per cent must be encouraged to work from home, the new guidelines said.

From June 8, tea shops, hotels, vegetable shops and grocery stores will also be allowed to function from 6 am to 8 pm. Barbershops and salons can function with the guidelines issued by the government earlier.

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