Tamil Nadu issues new guidelines for relaxations in lockdown

Among those relaxations are allowing film shootings with a maximum of 75 workers and no visitors, Metro Rail operation from September 7

Lifting of the Sunday curfew and e-pass for travel within the State, allowing places of worship with limited number of devotees, operation of government and private buses, opening of shopping malls, hotels, resorts, clubs and letting government offices and banks to function with full attendance are some of the relaxations to the lockdown announced from September 1.

An official press release on Sunday said that the curfew in force had been extended till September 30 with the relaxations and restrictions. Though more relaxations have been announced for September, Section 144 banning the assembling of more than four persons in public and total curfew in containment zones would continue to be in force.

Among those relaxations are allowing film shootings with a maximum of 75 workers and no visitors, Metro Rail operation from September 7, opening hill stations like Nilgiris, Kodaikannal and Yercaud for visitors with e-pass issued by the Collectors, opening parks and stadia for exercise and sports practice but not for spectators and letting factories and IT companies to function with 100 percent staff.

Schools, colleges and other educational institutions, other than skill and entrepreneurial training centres, would remain closed, allowing online teaching that would be encouraged. Similarly, cinema halls, swimming pools, entertainment and amusement parks, big halls, auditoriums, beaches, zoos, museums and tourist spots where large numbers of people congregate would not be opened.

The ban on religious, social, political, entertainment, cultural, educational and such gatherings and processions would continue in September when suburban trains would not run and international flights would be operated only on the routes allowed by the Union Home Ministry.

Rail services between States would continue only the routes now permitted and within the State there would be no service until September 15 when a call would be taken depending on the situation at that time, the release said.

A Protocol for new quarantine and testing will be announced for air and train passengers arriving in the State and the e-pass system would be in force for foreigners and passengers from other states, who could obtain it through auto-generation by giving details of Adhar card, travel ticket and phone number.

Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) would have to be strictly followed in all the facilities that were to be opened up in September and religious places would have to close down by 8 pm. Shops, restaurants and tea shops can remain open till 8 pm with takeaway facility allowed till 9 pm.

Government and private offices and factories have been mandated to appoint a nodal officer to ensure that all safety norms are followed, employees with infections do not attend office and those with symptoms are referred for immediate testing.

However, the government had advised private companies, particularly IT firms, to encourage work from home for its employees and people to avoid stepping out of their homes needlessly. It has been made clear that all standard norms to prevent the spread of Coronavirus like wearing of facemasks, maintaining social distancing and use of sanitizer were strictly followed by all.

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