- Tamil Nadu has extended its coronavirus lockdown to September 30
- It has also announced major relaxations
- Industries, government offices and banks will be allowed to function
Tamil Nadu has extended its coronavirus lockdown to September 30 but has also announced major relaxations, including resuming intra-state bus services from September 1 and Chennai metro services from September 7.
Among other relaxations are the re-opening of hotels, resorts, shopping malls and places of worship from September 1, the scrapping of "total lockdown" on Sunday and allowing shops outside containment zones to stay open till 8 PM.
Industries, government offices and banks will be allowed to function with 100 per cent of staff; they had previously been limited to 50 per cent. However, all workplaces are being advised to continue work-from-home if possible.
As many as 50 incoming flights will be allowed to land at Chennai airport. Inter-state trains on chosen routes have been permitted. A decision on intra-state trains will be taken after September 15, the government said.
The Tamil Nadu government has also revoked the e-pass system for intra-state travel, in line with "Unlock4" guidelines released by the centre late last night. The central government had said people were no longer required to get permission, or register on government websites, to travel within the country.
E-passes will, however, continue to be required for people arriving in the state by air or rail, and travel to Ooty and Kodaikanal and other hill stations.
Film shooting can resume with a maximum of 75 crew members on set at any given time. Spectators will not be allowed.
All relaxations will require adherence to SOPs (standard operating procedures) to minimise contact between people and spread of the COVID-19 virus.
These SOPs include the use of face masks and hand sanitisers in public spaces, social distancing and thermal scans to check body temperature.
Tamil Nadu is the second worst-affected state in India, with over 4.16 lakh confirmed cases. Of these over 7,100 are deaths linked to the virus and around 1.85 lakh are active cases.
The southern state recorded 6,352 new Covid cases on Saturday.