Chennai: Tamil Nadu government has extended the lockdown till May 31 in order to contain the spread of COVID-19 in the State. However, barring 12 districts, the government has announced new relaxations for 25 other districts that has recorded fewer cases of Coronavirus in the last few days.
The existing lockdown restrictions will continue for 12 districts, which have high number of Coronavirus cases in the state. This includes Chennai, Kancheepuram, Thiruvallur, Chengalpattu, Villupuram, Cuddalore, Ranipet, Thirupattur, Kallakurichi, Thiruvannamalai, Ariyalur and Perambalur.
Relaxation in 25 districts of Tamil Nadu
25 districts in Tamil Nadu - Coimbatore, Erode, Salem, Tiruppur, Namakkal, Karur, Tirunelveli, Thenkasi, Tuticorin, Kanniyakumari, Theni ,Madurai, Sivagangai, Virudhunagar, Ramanathapuram, Dindigul, Pudukottai, Tirchy, Thiruvarur, Tanjavur, Nagapattinam, Krishnagiri, Dharmapuri, Vellore and Nilgiris will see partial relaxation of lockdown norms from May 17.
In these districts, the government has allowed people to travel within the district without obtaining the mandatory E-Pass from the concerned authorities. For example, a person travelling within Coimbatore district limits does not have to obtain E-Pass from the administration. However, the pass is still mandatory for people who wish to travel from one district to another.
Special buses operated by the government or private companies to ferry employees can only accommodate 20 people at a time. With respect to other vehicles, only 7 people are allowed to travel in a van, 3 people in an Innova car, and apart from the driver, only 2 people can travel in a small car.
Hiring of taxi and cabs will only be allowed for essential, emergency and agricultural related services. Tamil Nadu government has advised general public not to use these exemptions for non-essential services.
Except in Chennai district limits, all industrial units across the state, even outside Special Economic Zones, are allowed to begin their operations with minimum workforce. Companies that have less than 50 employees can restart their operations with 100% workforce. Likewise, industrial units that has more than 100 employees can begin their operations with minimum 100 workers. 100% workforce allowed for MNREGA.
The government has also instructed all district collectors to follow Standard Operating Procedures laid down by the government during the lockdown.
Mr Palaniswami has also allowed the evaluation of the Class 12 board exams.
Other existing lockdown rules to continue across Tamil Nadu
Schools, colleges, coaching centres and all educational institutions will remain shut.
No train or air passenger services will be allowed. Only special trains and flights meant for transporting stranded people by Central government after seeking the permission of state government will be allowed.
Temples, mosques, churches and all other places of religious worship will remain closed until May 31 st.
Theatres , liquor bars, gyms, tourist destinations, museums, public swimming pools, stadiums and public meeting halls will remain shut till the lockdown ends.
No permission will be granted for any kind of public events including religious, political and cultural programs, processions and other events by the police and concerned authorities.
Taxi, auto, cycle rickshaws, metro rail, local electric trains will not be allowed to operate during lockdown 4.0.
Hotels, resorts and lodges will remain closed, except for those accommodating COVID-19 frontline workers.
The existing restrictions will continue for people participating in funerals and marriages across the state.
Tourist and summer holiday destinations like Nilgiris, Kodaikanal and Yercaud will be out of bounds for general public and strict instructions have been given to the concerned district authorities not to allow outsiders.
No change in containment zones and existing restrictions will continue till the lockdown period ends.