The Tamil Nadu government on Saturday announced major relaxations during the lockdown which will come into effect from Monday, May 11 onwards.
Here are the major takeaways-
– Essential shops will be allowed to function from 6 am to 7 pm, while stand-alone and neighbourhood shops can function from 10:30 am to 6 pm in the state capital.
– Private establishments will also be allowed to resume work with 33% capacity between 10:30 am to 6 pm from Monday.
– For the rest of the state, the timings for essential and stand-alone or neighbourhood shops are the same. However, the private establishments there can work with 33% of the workforce between 10 am and 6 pm.
– Giving some relief to small-time tea shop owners, they have been allowed to reopen across the state, albeit only for takeaways have been asked to ensure disinfection is carried out five times during the duration for which they will be opening — 6 am to 7 pm.
However, all shops have been asked to ensure social distancing, disinfecting, and other guidelines are strictly followed.
– All petrol pumps in the state have been allowed to reopen, but those in areas under Metropolitan Madras Police Territory can operate only from 6 am to 6 pm, while in the remaining districts of Tamil Nadu, pumps will operate from 6 am to 8 pm.
However, the petrol pumps on the state and national highways have been allowed to operate round the clock.
Earlier today, the Tamil Nadu government had approached the Supreme Court challenging a Madras High Court order, which directed to shut all state-run liquor shops and only permitted online sale of liquor in the state amid the lockdown.
“We have filed the appeal today before the apex court challenging yesterday’s Madras High Court order,” a lawyer connected to the case told ANI.
Madras High Court had, on Friday, ordered the closure of all state-run Tamil Nadu State Marketing Corporation (TASMAC) liquor shops and allowed only the online sale of liquor in the state.
The directions came after huge crowds gathered outside liquor shops across the state on Thursday and Friday violating social distancing norms and risking the spread of COVID-19 in the state amid the ongoing coronavirus-induced lockdown.
Tamil Nadu, with 6,009 COVID-19 cases, is one of the worst-affected states by the disease in the country.