Curbs eased in J&K but schools, colleges to stay closed till June 15
With coronavirus cases dipping across the Union Territory, the Jammu and Kashmir administration has started easing restrictions in a staggered manner, though the weekend and night curfew will continue till further orders.
Outgoing chief secretary and chairperson of the state executive committee BVR Subrahmanyam, in an order, said weekend curfew will continue in all 20 districts from Friday 8pm to Monday 7am and the daily curfew will remain in force from 8pm and 7am. However, all stand-alone shops, liquor shops and saloons will open on alternate days, three days a week, except the weekend.
Though malls will also open at 25% capacity, the government has not allowed gyms, spas, cinema halls, swimming pools, massage centres and bars to resume their businesses. Schools, colleges, coaching centres and universities will remain closed till June 15. Schools, colleges, technical education and skill development Institutes been asked to continue with online classes and not insist on in-person attendence for both staff and students. However, universities have been permitted to seek in-person attendance of minimal staff only for research, lab and thesis work. “Staff of educational institutions needed by the district disaster management authorities for official duties shall not be exempted from duties on account of this order,” the directions clarified.
In the five districts of Kashmir — Pulwama, Anantnag, Baramulla, Budgam and Kupwara — that have been put in red category, public transport and malls will remain shut. However, auto-rickshaws will follow odd-even system.
In the remaining 15 districts, which have been placed under orange category, outdoor bazaars and shopping areas will open on alternate days.
“Restaurants can open on all weekdays but only for home delivery. No takeaways allowed,” says the order. Similarly, outdoor sports stadiums can open but indoor stadiums will remain closed. Public transport has been permitted to ply only at 50% of the authorised seating capacity. Taxis and cab aggregators are also permitted to operate at 50% capacity while auto-rickshaws are permitted to ply without any restrictions.
Religious places and places of worship shall continue to remain open for public, subject to compliance to standard operating procedures already issued in this regard, read the order.
The ceiling on the number of people permitted at social gatherings will be 20 in case of funerals and 25 for all other gatherings, be it indoors or outdoors. Canteens and eateries at bus stands, railway stations and airports are permitted to open on all days, it said.
The existing guidelines and SOPs in place for compulsory testing of all incoming passengers and travellers to J&K will be strictly enforced, it said.