Sticking to its calibrated approach in lifting Covid restrictions, the Tamil Nadu government on Friday extended the lockdown by a week, till July 12, while providing several relaxations in curbs across all districts.
Restaurants in the state have now been allowed to serve dine-in customers at 50 per cent capacity and while adhering to Covid protocols. Hotels, lodges and guesthouses, too, can function.
Amusement parks have been given a go-ahead to open. They must allow visitors up to a maximum of 50 per cent of their capacity and ensure that Covid SOPs are followed to the T.
The state government has divided the 38 districts in the state into three categories to streamline its response to the pandemic. The first category has 11 hotspot districts, the second has 23 districts with lower active case counts and the third has four districts, including Chennai, where the situation has significantly improved.
Earlier, the state government had extended several relaxations to Group-II and Group-III districts. Now, uniform relaxations are in place across the state.
Gymnasiums, which got a go-ahead to function in Group-II and Group-III districts earlier, can now open in all districts.
Offices in the IT and IT-enabled sectors can now function with 50 per cent attendance. Buses have been given the nod to operate within districts and between districts with the number of passengers capped at 50 per cent of seat capacity. Use of air-conditioners in buses remains prohibited. The state government has removed the requirement of e-passes for inter-district travel.
Cinema halls, bars, swimming pools, schools, colleges and zoos continue to remain shut and political and social gatherings are also prohibited.
Research scholars, including those pursuing MPhil and PhD courses, can now visit campuses of education institutions for work relating to their research.
Weddings and funerals are now allowed in all districts. A wedding function can be attended by a maximum of 50 guests and not more than 20 people can take part in a funeral.
The relaxations come as daily case counts in the state have remained below the 5,000 mark over the past few days.
The state recorded 4,230 new cases and 97 deaths over the past 24 hours. The number of active cases currently stands at 37,526.