After 40 days of COVID-19 induced lockdown, Kerala on Thursday limped back to normal as the government eased the curbs allowing shops to open in a restricted manner and permitting public transport on a limited basis.
In the major towns, where the Test Positivity rate (TPR) was less, people could be seen venturing out as the state was under lockdown since May 8.
The chief minister had earlier said that there will be relaxation on the curbs in the state based on the average weekly TPR in Local Self Government bodies.
The state-run beverages outlets witnessed rush in most of the places on Thursday, but tipplers strictly followed the social distancing norm and other COVID-19 health protocols.
The government has taken away the curbs on activities in the industrial and agricultural sectors.
“Shops selling essential goods will be open every day from 7 AM to 7 PM. Akshaya Kendras will be open from Monday to Friday. Central and State Government Offices, Public Sector Undertakings, government companies, Commissions, corporations and autonomous institutions will be allowed to operate with 25 per cent staff on a rotation basis from June 17,” Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had said on June 15.
However, the government has restricted participation in weddings and funeral services to 20 and said no social gatherings or public events are allowed.
All shops (with up to 50 per cent staff) will be allowed to operate from 7 am to 7 pm, in areas with a TPR of up to eight per cent. Private companies are allowed to operate with 50 per cent employees from Thursday.
“Only home delivery and takeaway will be allowed from restaurants, no dine-in. Tourism, recreation, and crowded indoor activities including malls are not allowed. Bevco outlets and bars can open from 9 am to 7 pm, ” the government had said.
The local bodies with an average TPR of less than 8 per cent will have limited restrictions whereas there will be partial lockdown in places with 8-20 per cent TPR, full lockdown for 20-30 per cent TPR and triple lockdown in areas with TPR above 30 per cent.
Kerala reported 13,270 new positive cases and 147 COVID-19-related deaths on Wednesday taking the total affected in the state to 27,61,474 and the deaths to 11,655.
The test positivity rate was 11.79 per cent and currently, there were 1,09,794 peeople under treatment in the state.