The COVID-19 lockdown in Tamil Nadu has been extended for another week, Chief Minister MK Stalin announced on Saturday as the government announced two sets of relaxations for 11 hotspot districts and the rest of the state. The lockdown, set to end on Monday, will now be in place till June 14.
Coimbatore, Nilgiris, Tiruppur, Erode, Salem, Karur, Namakkal, Tanjore, Thiruvarur, Nagapattinam and Mayiladuthurai make up the hotspot districts where restriction will continue due to high rate of infection.
In the rest of the state, standalone grocery provision stores will be allowed to function from 6am to 5 pm. However, the fish markets and slaughter houses will be allowed only for wholesale and are to be shifted to open areas to ensure social distancing, a key facet in keeping the virus at bay.
The public has been advised to make purchases from the neighbourhood shops and avoid stepping out of home. They have also been asked to limit the use of personal vehicles.
Housekeeping staff has been allowed back at apartments and office complexes but need an e-registration. Autos with two passengers and cabs with three are allowed as well with the required e-pass.
Hardware stores, automotive spares stores, stationery shops are allowed from 6am to 5pm. Professionals like electricians, plumbers, carpenters and those self-employed are also given the go-ahead to practise between the specified hours.
Match box industries can function with 50 per cent workers.
All government offices can function with 30 per cent staff members, the state government said.
Travel to Nilgiris, Yercaud, Ooty, Yelagiri – all hill stations – has been allowed for emergencies with e-pass from the district collectors.
On May 28, Tamil Nadu government had announced the extension of the lockdown across the state till June 7. The lockdown in the state first began for two weeks on May 10 and was extended for another week on May 24.
The southern states continue to have restrictions in place to break the cycle of transmission. In Kerala, the restrictions are in place till June 9; Telangana till June 10. Karnataka is in lockdown till June 14.