Tamil Nadu extends lockdown till June 21 with fewer curbs
Amid a decline in Covid-19 cases, Tamil Nadu on Friday decided to extend the ongoing statewide lockdown till June 21 with several relaxations, including reopening of the state liquor shops from 10 am to 5 pm.
The lockdown, which initially came into force on May 10 and later extended thrice, was slated to end on June 14.
As per latest guidelines which will come into force from June 14, 27 districts, including Chennai, that have a low active caseload, will be permitted to run beauty parlours, salons and spas with 50% occupancy and without the use of air conditioners from 6 am to 5 pm. Public parks in these areas will be allowed to remain open from 6 am to 9 pm. Housekeeping will be allowed with e-registration and call taxis and auto rickshaws will also be allowed to ply.
The Tamil Nadu State Marketing Corporation (TASMAC) liquor stores that are shut since May 10 will be allowed to function from 10 am to 5 pm. Schools, colleges and universities can also resume operations for admissions. Shops repairing electronic items and those selling household items such as mixers and refrigerators can function from 9 am to 2 pm.
Industries can function with a capacity of 33% of the total workforce. IT and ITES companies will be allowed to function with 20% workforce or a maximum of 10 employees.
Fewer relaxations were announced for hotspot districts, including Coimbatore, Nilgiris, Tiruppur, Erode, Salem, where the active caseload remains high. The guidelines mandated e-registration for commuting to work.
Electricians, plumbers, motor technicians, carpenters and other self-employed workers will be allowed to work between 9 am and 5 pm. Rental vehicles and taxis can operate with three passengers, and autos with two passengers.
“As we open up, we must remember the virus is here to stay so we have to continue wearing masks, maintain social distance and get vaccinated,” Prabhdeep Kaur, deputy director, National Institute of Epidemiology, said.
As of Friday, 15,759 people tested positive for Covid-19 in Tamil Nadu, taking the total to 2,324,597. At 2,056, Coimbatore reported the highest number of new cases.
The number of deaths reported in the state stood at 378, taking the overall tally to 28,906.