CHENNAI: The Tamil Nadu government, late Monday night, announced new restrictions to control the spread of the coronavirus as the second wave of the pandemic tests the State’s healthcare infrastructure.
As per the new restrictions, in effect from 4 A.M. on May 6 (Thursday) to 4 A.M. on May 20, government and private offices will only be allowed to function with 50 per cent of their employees at a time and grocery and vegetable shops will be allowed to function only till 12 noon.
The new curbs are in addition to the restrictions already in place, including a night curfew and full shutdown on Sunday, as the test positivity rate in the State exceeds 10 per cent.
According to a statement issued by the State government, as part of the new curbs, all public transport facilities (bus, train, autos, etc) may only ferry passengers to 50 per cent of their capacity.
While the government had already barred the operation of malls, shopping complexes or any retail shop over 3,000 sq ft from April 26, it has now also ordered the closure of all shops, except for standalone stores selling groceries, medicines, dairy products and other essentials.
However, grocery and provision stores may only be open till noon, at only 50 per cent capacity.
Hotels, restaurants and messes may only provide takeaway services. However, tea shops may only function till 12 P.M. On Sundays food delivery is permitted only between 6-10 A.M, 12-3 P.M., and 6-9 P.M.
Meat and fish shops will remain closed on Saturday and Sunday. On other days, they may only function from 6 A.M. to 12 P.M.
Spas and salons, already barred from operating in cities, will not be allowed to function throughout the State.
All public gatherings, except for weddings and funerals, are barred, including educational, political and cultural events.
Movie theatres too will not be allowed to function. There are no restrictions on operation of petrol bunks or medical services through the week.
Continuous process industries and industries manufacturing essential commodities will be allowed to function.
No more than 50 people may be allowed to attend weddings while no more than 20 are allowed to attend funerals, funeral processions or participate in last rights.
Weddings may not be conducted on Sundays when the full lockdown is in place. On Sundays, food delivery is only permitted between 6-10 A.M., 12-3 P.M. and 6- 9 P.M.
However, e-commerce companies, aside from those providing food delivery services, cannot operate on Sundays.