Restaurants are required to follow requisite social distancing norms (File image)
The West Bengal government has extended the ongoing COVID-19 lockdown till July 1, but has widened the relaxations to allow the resumption of economic activities.
Both government and private offices can reopen, with a cap of 25 percent imposed on staff strength. In private/corporate offices, the timings have been restricted from 10 am to 4 pm, and the attendees would be required to apply for e-pass.
The state government has also extended the timings of restaurants and bars, allowing them to operate from 12 pm to 8 pm with a 50 percent seating capacity. As per the previous order, the restaurants were allowed to operate only from 5 pm to 8 pm.
The relaxation in curbs, which will come into effect from June 15, was announced by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee in view of the declining positivity rate and active caseload.
Parks and gardens would remain open only between 6 am to 9 am for morning walks. However, only those citizens would be permitted to enter who have been vaccinated, the government reportedly said.
Bazaars and markets would remain open between 7 am and 11am, whereas, other other retail shops are permitted to operate from 11 am to 6 pm.
The movement of individuals for non-essential purpose would continue to remain barred. All intra-state buses/waterways/trains will remain suspended, whereas, private vehicles/cabs would only function for emergency or essential services.
From 9 pm to 5 am, the movement of individuals and all outdoor activities would be completely prohibited, the government said.
All educational institutions including schools, colleges and coaching classes will remain shut till further orders. For weddings, the cap of 50 guests would continue to remain imposed.
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West Bengal is among the states which were hit severely by the onset of second COVID-19 wave. The state witnessed its per-day COVID-19 count peaking to above 20,000 in May. Over the past few days, the cases have decelerated. As per the last update issued on June 13, 3,984 new cases and 84 deaths were reported. The active caseload has dropped to 17,651.