VIJAYAWADA: In a big relief to people of all walks of the society, the 16-hour relaxation in Covid-19 curfew will come into effect on Thursday across the state, barring Godavari district. The curfew will continue for eight hours from 10 pm to 6 am.
Cinema theatres, eateries, restaurants, marriage halls and gyms across the state can start functioning with 50 per cent capacity following Covid-19 protocols. The government instructed the following of wearing masks, physical distance and using of sanitisers as mandatory. All commercial establishments can function up to 9 pm and one hour of time for closure would be given till 10 pm.
East Godavari and West Godavari districts, where Covid-19 positivity rate continued to be higher, will continue to have a curfew from 7 pm to 6 am.
APSRTC has also decided to increase bus services. RTC had incurred losses as buses had gone off the road during the lockdown. Now the RTC management is prepared to relaunch long-distance services from Thursday to Hyderabad, Visakhapatnam, Tirupati, Kurnool, Srisailam, Kadapa, Anantapur and other places.
The curfew was imposed on May 5 after Covid-19 infections surged in the state. The government began relaxing curfew timings based on the gradual decline in Coronavirus infections.
AP Hotels Association joint secretary M. Madhusudhan Rao said hotels and restaurants are the worst affected businesses in the lockdown.
“There is a good response after the state government relaxed curfew. We expecting further boost now as relaxation was extended till 10 pm. We have informed our workers, who had gone back to their home towns in neighbouring states, to rejoin duties,” Madhusudhan Rao said.
A commercial mall manager, N. Nagarjuna Rao, said footfall continued to be poor at malls and theatres as people continued to be apprehensive of spending money after the second wave. A majority of people are giving priority to essential items compared to entertainment,” he said.
Representatives of the Chamber of Commerce welcomed the curfew relaxation and said it will help the trading community to return to their usual business hours....