Chandigarh all set to unlock from June 1
Deciding to follow the central government guidelines on ‘Unlock 1’ in letter and spirit, the UT administration will relax the curfew hours, allowing movement of individuals for non-essential activities from 5am to 9pm, starting June 1.
Restaurants, hotels, places of worship and shopping malls will be opened from June 8. Educational institutions are likely to be open in July.
However, cinema halls, gymnasiums, swimming pools, entertainment parks, theatres, bars and auditoriums will remain closed for now.
The ministry of home affairs (MHA) on Saturday issued the new guidelines for a phased reopening of areas outside the containment zones. The guidelines will come into effect from June 1, when Lockdown 4.0 gets over, and will be effective till June 30. The Union health ministry will issue standard operating procedures (SOPs) for opening up various prohibited activities in a phased manner.
The MHA order on March 24 imposed a strict lockdown throughout the country, and in Chandigarh, the administration had imposed curfew. Only essential activities were permitted.
In subsequent three phases of the lockdown, restrictions were relaxed.
UT adviser Manoj Kumar Parida said: “Being a Union Territory, we will be following directions of the ministry of home affairs in toto. Only in areas where local discretion has been allowed, like the containment zones, the decision will be taken by the UT administrator on Monday. The MHA order will automatically come into effect from June 1 in the city. We will have to issue a fresh order for implementing change in timings of the curfew.”
On being specifically asked about the Bapu Dham Colony buffer zone, Parida said: “A decision on it is likely to be taken within this week by the UT administrator as per the MHA guidelines.”
CALL ON MARKET TIMINGS TOMORROW
While all the markets were allowed to open under the Lockdown 4.0 guidelines earlier this month, the administration will take a call on the staggered timings of the markets as well as opening of salons and barber shops by Monday.
Detailed guidelines from the central government are also awaited for the public movement in two-wheeler, cars and public transport services, said Parida.
However, Parida said: “As per MHA guidelines, the administration will impose no restriction on interstate movement of persons and goods. There will be no requirement for separate permission or e-permit for such movement.”
Hit hard by losses and large-scale reverse migration of workforce due to lockdown, the hospitality industry welcomed the move. Manmohan Kohli, chairman, Chandigarh Hotel and Restaurant Association, said: “We are relieved that finally the government is allowing hotels and restaurant to open. But there is still a long struggle ahead.”
WHAT ABOUT EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTES
Only a limited number of activities will remain prohibited in the city.
The administration, in accordance with guidelines prepared by the health ministry for Phase 2, will take a decision on the opening of educational institutions in the city in July after consultations at the institution level with parents and other stakeholders.
International air travel of passengers, cinema halls, gymnasiums, swimming pools, entertainment parks, theatres, bars, auditoriums, assembly halls and similar places; and, social, political, sports, entertainment, academic, cultural/ religious functions and other large congregations will remained closed. Dates for their opening will be decided based on assessment of the situation in Phase 3.