All shops selling non-essential items in Punjab will remain shut till May 15. Representative image (Shutterstock)
The Punjab government on May 3 announced a slew of lockdown-like restrictions to contain the spread of COVID-19. In addition to the existing night curfew and weekend lockdown, the government announced stricter curbs like mandatory negative COVID-19 test report to enter the state and 50 percent staff strength at government offices.
Those who wish to enter Punjab by air, rail or road must have a negative COVID-19 report which is not more than 72-hour old or produces a vaccination certificate, of at least one dose, over two weeks old, the order issued by the Department of Home Affairs said.
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All four-wheeler passenger vehicles, including cars and taxis, will not be allowed to seat more than two passengers. However, vehicles carrying patients to hospitals will be exempted, according to the directions.
It also stated that pillion riding on scooters and motorcycles will not be allowed except for those belonging to the same family and living in the same house.
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All shops selling non-essential items will remain shut. Those dealing in medicines and essential items like milk, bread, vegetables, fruits, dairy and poultry products like eggs, meat and mobile repair will be allowed.
All government offices, as well as banks, will work at 50 percent strength other than those where officials are involved in COVID management, according to the new directives, which also stated that deputy commissioners are authorised to draft services of any official for COVID management and related duties.
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No gathering of more than 10 people, including for weddings, cremations and funerals, will be allowed.
With a ban on social, cultural, sports and other gatherings already in place, there will also be a complete ban on government functions, such as inaugurations, foundation stone laying ceremonies unless permission of the deputy commissioner has been obtained.
Villages will hold vigil to ensure orders related to night and weekend curfews are complied with.
Religious places will be closed at 6 pm every day and there must be no overcrowding.
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There will also be RT-PCR testing of street vendors and social distancing must be maintained in vegetable markets, according to the directives of the state home department.
An appeal would also be made to farmer unions and religious leaders not to hold gatherings and restrict the number of protesters.
These restrictions, in addition to the earlier ones, will remain in effect till May 15, according to the Punjab Home Department's directive to all deputy commissioners and district police chiefs.
The state government has already imposed a night curfew from 6 pm till 5 am and weekend lockdown from 6 pm on Fridays till 5 am on Mondays.
Punjab is among the worst-hit states in the second wave of the pandemic. On May 2, it registered a record single-day spike of 157 COVID-19 fatalities and 7,327 new cases, the highest in a day, bringing the infection count to 3.85 lakh, while toll mounted to 9,317.Click here for Moneycontrol's full coverage of the COVID-19 pandemic