CHANDIGARH: Aiming to provide more relaxation in the urban areas during the Covid-19 pandemic, the Punjab Government, on the directions of Punjab Chief Minister, have announced that curfew would remain imposed only on all Sundays in all the 167 municipal towns of the State upto 30.09.2020 and no curfew to be imposed on Saturdays.

Disclosing this here today, a spokesperson of the Punjab Government said the CM has reviewed the Covid-19 situation and directed to relax some of the restrictions in urban areas. He said movement of individuals for all non-essential activities would remain prohibited between 9:30 pm to 5:00 am within municipal limits of all the cities of Punjab throughout the week.

However, essential activities and services  such as movement of persons and goods on national and state highways, inter-state and intra-state movement of persons and unloading of cargo and travel of persons to their destinations after disembarking from buses, trains and aeroplanes would be permitted.

He further informed that essential services related to health, agriculture and linked activities, dairying and fishery activities, banks, ATMs, stock markets, insurance companies, on-line teaching, public utilities, public transport, industry in multiple-shifts, construction industry, offices both private and government  etc. would also be permitted.

Moreover, he added that health care institutions viz. hospitals, labs, diagnostic centre and chemist shops were allowed to operate on all 7 days of the week throughout the day i.e. would remain open 24×7 hours. Besides, movement of persons and students in connection with all kinds of examinations, admission/entrance tests conducted by universities, boards, public service commissions and other institutions would also be permitted.

Giving details of the weekend/night restrictions, the spokesperson said shops/malls, except those dealing in essential commodities, would  be allowed to remain open till 9:00 p.m. from Monday to Saturday but would be closed in all cities on Sunday. Shops/Malls dealing in essentials would be open even on the weekend, till 9:00 p.m.

In addition, he revealed that religious places have also been allowed to stay open on all days upto 9:00 p.m., as have been restaurants (including those in malls, Hotels) and liquor vends.  The restrictions on day/time do not apply to hotels.

It is worth mentioning here that the existing restrictions on passengers in vehicles would also continue to remain in force, with only 3 persons including driver to be allowed in a 4-wheeler vehicle, and all buses and public transport vehicles to allow sitting for only half (50%) capacity with no person standing.

Furthermore , He said that Government and private offices shall operate with 50% staff strength till the end of the month i.e. not more than 50% of employees would be permitted on a particular day.  The Heads of Offices would restrict public visitors in Government offices and encourage use of on-line Punjab grievance redressal system (PGRS) and other on-line tools so as to minimise person to person contact in offices.

He stated that Section 144 of the CrPC banning all social, political, religious gatherings, protests, and demonstrations will continue to remain in force throughout the State, while gatherings relating to marriage and funerals shall be allowed only for 30 persons and 20 persons respectively. Strict action be taken against the organisers and main participants for violation of orders u/s 144 of Cr.PC, he added. He reiterated that the above restrictions would be applicable only in urban area of the State.

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