With the Covid situation in the state improving, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M K Stalin today announced more relaxations in curbs for the 27 non-hotspot districts.
As per the fresh guidelines, offices of construction companies in these districts have been allowed to operate with 50 per cent attendance to handle salaries and other payment-related work.
E-seva centres in the state, which provide several services to the citizens, have now been allowed to function in these districts.
Shops selling sweets and savouries can now stay open from 8 am to 5 pm and tea shops in these districts have been allowed to give takeaways between 6 am and 5pm.
The latest bunch of relaxations comes two days after the state government extended the lockdown in the state by a week, till June 21, while easing the curbs in place.
The state government had then come out with separate relaxations for the 11 hotspot districts and the 27 other districts, including Chennai.
The Chief Minister has appealed to the people to continue to follow Covid protocols. “People should extend full cooperation to the government’s efforts,” he has said.
In the earlier set of relaxations for the non-hotspot districts, salons, beauty parlours and spas were allowed to open at 50 per cent customer capacity between 6 am and 5 pm. In these districts, liquor shops can now operate from 10 am to 5 pm and public parks will stay open from 6 am to 9 am.
All shops have been asked to ensure that Covid protocols are followed.
In the hotspot districts, the state government has allowed auto-rickshaws and cabs to operate with two and three passengers, respectively, after e-registration on the state portal. Housekeeping, and security services have also been allowed.
Meanwhile, the state government’s decision to reopen government-owned liquor shops starting Monday has drawn criticism from the opposition AIADMK.
Party coordinator O Panneerselvam pointed to the DMK’s protests when the previous AIADMK-led government decided to reopen liquor shops and said that there is a stronger need to keep them shut now.
Dr S Ramadoss, the chief of AIADMK ally Pattali Makkal Katchi, too, criticised the state government over the move. He said consumption of liquor will affect the immunity of people and make them more vulnerable to Covid.
Tamil Nadu yesterday recorded 15,108 new Covid cases and 374 deaths due to the infection. The number of active cases currently stands at 1,62,073.