The Karnataka government on Saturday eased coronavirus-induced lockdown restrictions in 16 districts with less than five per cent positivity rate. All shops in these districts - Belagavi, Mandya, Koppal, Chikkaballapura, Tumakuru, Kolar,Bengaluru Urban, Gadag, Raichur, Bagalkote, Kalaburagi, Haveri, Ramanagar, Yadgir and Bidar - can now open till 5 PM.
The relaxations will come into effect from June 21 - when the current curbs will come to an end - and remain in place till July 5.
"We have taken certain decisions on easing restrictions, based on the advice of the Technical Advisory Committee on COVID-19 and after discussions with my cabinet colleagues," Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa said.
All hotels, clubs and restaurants will be allowed to open with dine-in options in these districts till 5 PM with 50 per cent capacity. Lodges, resorts and gyms without air conditioners have also been allowed to operate with a 50 per cent cap on guests. Both private and government offices have been allowed to operate at half capacity.
The state government has allowed outdoor shooting and buses and metros can also operate at 50 per cent of their capacity. Outdoor sports without spectators will also be allowed.
Taking a cautious approach to the easing of lockdown restrictions, the Karnataka government is continuing with night curfew - from 7 PM to 5 AM - and weekend curfew - from 7 PM Friday to 5 AM Monday - in the state till July 5.
In 13 districts with a positivity rate between five per cent to 10 per cent, rules issued restrictions announced on June 11 will apply. These are Hassan, Udupi, Dakshina Kannada, Shivamogga, Chamarajanagar, Chikkamagaluru, Bengaluru Rural, Davangere, Kodagu, Dharwad, Ballari, Chitradurga and Vijayapura.
The June 11 order said the restrictions will be eased from 6 AM to 2 PM, where the sale of essential commodities and delivery through e-commerce companies will continue.
Strict lockdown measures will continue in Mysuru district with an over ten per cent positivity rate.
The Karnataka government had initially announced 14 days ''close-down'' from April 27, but subsequently imposed a complete lockdown from May 10 to May 24, as the COVID cases continued to spike. Citing lockdown yielding results and experts' advice, it was further extended till June 7 and then again till June 14.
Karnataka on Saturday reported 5,815 new COVID-19 cases while the city's active cases stood at 1,30,872, according to the health department.