Karnataka will ease restrictions in some districts in the state that are least hit by the coronavirus or COVID-19 outbreak, which has infected over 29,000 people in India, killed more than 900, according to a new order signed by Chief Secretary TM Vijay Bhaskar.
Industries will be allowed to operate in Chamarajanagar, Koppal, Chikmagaluru, Raichur, Chitradurga, Hassan, Shivamogga, Haveri, Yadgir, Kolar, Udupi, Davanagere, Kodagu districts, the new order says.
Manufacturing will be allowed in the special economic zones in the districts. Dedicated transport services should be ensured for the staff, according to the notification.
All shops outside municipal limits - as long as they are not in malls - are also permitted to open. In these districts, shops within municipal limits can also open unless they are not in market complexes and malls.
Only 50 per cent of the workforce is allowed in the units and social distancing would be mandatory.
In another eight districts, including Bengaluru Rural, Ballari and Mandya, the decision on shops and industries would be taken by the district in-charge minister.
For the remaining eight districts, including Bengaluru Urban, there is no change to the existing guidelines.
Karnataka has reported more than 500 COVID-19 cases so far; at least 20 deaths.
Last week, in a major relief to shopkeepers and buyers, the central government had allowed all neighbourhood shops - except those in malls and market complexes - to reopen amid a nationwide lockdown to check the spread of coronavirus, which began on March 25; it was later extended till May 3. All restaurants, salons, barber shops and liquor stores will remain closed, the government clarified later. Malls, cinemas, gymnasiums, sports complexes, swimming pools, bars and auditoriums continue to remain shut.
Earlier, the centre had allowed agricultural and construction activities in a bid to give boost to economy hit by the pandemic.