Lockdown 5.0: Bengal allows some relaxations; restaurants, malls can reopen
The West Bengal government on Saturday decided to extend the Covid-19 lockdown until June 15 only in containment zones, allowing greater relaxation in all other areas, hours after the Union home ministry set the ground rules to be followed for the month of June.
The Mamata Banerjee government had earlier divided the containment zones into three areas — A is an affected area, B is the buffer zone & C is the clean area. From June 1, lockdown will be enforced in containment zone A, while containment zones B and C will be offered relaxations.
“It is felt necessary to continue to implement the lockdown in the affected areas (containment zones) to effectively contain the spread of Covid-19 and open up activities in other areas for socio-economic revival,” said a government notification issued by the chief secretary.
The order said a strict lockdown will be imposed in the affected areas, with no relaxations. Relaxations will be allowed in containment zones B and C from June 1, with the resumption of work in tea gardens, jute mills, micro, small, medium & large industries, and the construction industry .
Intra-state movement of government and private buses has also been allowed with passengers not exceeding the seating capacity of the vehicle. No passengers will be allowed to travel standing and all passengers must wear masks and gloves.
While the Union ministry of home affairs has allowed opening of religious places from June 8, Bengal has allowed it from June 1 with not more than 10 persons gathering at a time. It was not immediately clear if Bengal will revise its stand. The state has also allowed all offices and industries to resume work with 100% workforce beyond the “affected areas”.
Restaurants and shopping malls have been allowed to open on June 1. Government offices will function with 70% of the workforce on a rotational basis. While the government said it encouraged private offices to adopt a work-from-home policy, the number of staff in offices will be decided by the companies.