Night curfew, weekend lockdown to continue in Punjab

State government issues Unlock 4.0; all gatherings except weddings and funerals still banned

Night curfew, weekend lockdown to continue in Punjab

PTI file photo

Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, August 31

Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh said on Monday that his government would continue to enforce restrictions on movement in the urban areas of the state---a development that came days after Punjab’s cases breached 50,000 cases.

Punjab government said in its press release that weekend lockdowns would continue in all 167 municipal areas of the state until the end of September, as would night curfews from 7 pm to 5 am. This decision to continue night curfews continue despite the central government’s decision to lift its own orders.  

“The decision has been taken in due consultation with the Centre, as required by the Unlock 4.0 guidelines issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India,” an official spokesperson said.

The Chief Minister has, however, ordered relaxation with respect to opening of shops in the five worst affected cities of Amritsar, Jalandhar, Patiala, Mohali and Ludhiana. The condition of only 50 per cent of the non-essential shops being open on a given day in these cities has now been removed.

The central government said in its Unlock 4 guidelines on Sunday that any decisions on further lockdowns and restrictions on movement should be take taken only after consulting it.

All social, political, religious gatherings, protests and demonstrations will continue to be banned under section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code.

This is also unlike to the central government’s own guidelines, which allowed such gatherings from September 21. Social events like weddings and funerals will have a restriction on the number of attendees---30 for the first and 20 for the second.     

There will be complete curfew on movement over weekends in the 167 municipal limits. Only essential activities will be permitted during the night curfew hours.  

“Movement of students and others in connection with examinations, admission or entrance tests conducted by Universities, Boards, Public Service Commissions and other institutions has been excluded from the restrictions. Captain Amarinder has directed district authorities to facilitate the movement of such persons,” the official spokesperson said.

Places of worship can stay open on all days until 6.30 pm, as can restaurants and liquor shops.

These restrictions will not apply to hotels.

“Captain Amarinder has directed district authorities to strictly comply with these guidelines,” the spokesperson said. “He has asked the police to ensure strict action against the organisers and main participants in case of any violation of orders u/S 144 of Cr.P.C.”

There will be no restriction on essential services and activities, neither will there be any on movement of people 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 will be permitted during the restrictive conditions,” the spokesperson said

These essential services include those related to health, agricultural and related 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, the spokesperson said.

Malls and selling non-essential goods can operate until 6:30 pm on weekdays, but only essential activities will be allowed during weekends.

Shops dealing in essentials could remain open until 6.30 pm on weekends.

Existing restrictions on number of passengers in vehicles will continue---three people, including the driver, in a four wheeler, and buses and public transports can only carry half their seating capacity.  

Staff strength for government and private offices cannot be more than 50 per cent.

“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, according to the directives issued on the Chief Minister’s orders,” the spokesperson said.

The development came on a day when 1,453 new COVID-19 cases and 50 deaths took Punjab’s COVID-19 tally to 53,992 with 1453 fatalities. 

 Highlights of Unlock 4.0

Night curfew to continue

Weekend lockdowns to continue in 167 municipal areas

What’s allowed

  • Weddings with no more than 30 people and funerals with no more than 20 people
  • Restaurants, liquor shops on all days up to 6.30
  • Shops selling essentials (till 6.30 pm on weekends)
  • Essential services
  • Places of worship on all days till 6.30 pm
  • No restrictions on movement of goods and services
  • No restrictions on people going to destinations from bus and train stations, airports
  • Time/day restrictions not applicable to hotels

What’s not allowed

  • Social, political, religious gatherings, protests, demonstrations banned
  • Malls, shops selling non-essentials over weekends

What are essential services

Those related to health, agricultural and related 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.

 

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