India

Pune: Restrictions eased for most economic activities, but curbs on gatherings & night curfew to continue

Most economic activities in the city are likely to go back to normal functioning from Monday as Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) eases lockdown restrictions. However, the civic body has been cautious in its approach as night curfew and curbs on gatherings are here to stay.

In the order revising the lockdown restrictions, municipal commissioner Vikram Kumar said, “Prohibitory orders on gatherings would continue throughout the day till 11 pm. Further, there would be restrictions on public movement from 11 pm to 5 am except for emergency purposes.”

The rules for PMC will be applicable in the jurisdiction of Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) and Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC).

As per the new rules, all shops will now remain open from 7 am to 8 pm on all days as against the earlier deadline of 4 pm. Non-essential shops were also not allowed to open on weekends. Malls have been given the nod to operate till 8 pm on the condition that the entire staff should have taken both doses of a Covid-19 vaccine and RT-PCR tests are conducted every 15 days. Mall owners have been directed to allow entry to only fully vaccinated customers.

Dine-in facilities will be available at eateries and restaurants till 10 pm. However, seating has been restricted to 50 per cent of total capacity. Earlier, these were allowed to open till 4 pm only on weekdays.

Gardens have been opened for all days in the morning and evening while sports activities, except for swimming and those which include close contacts, have been given the nod. Gyms, saloons, beauty parlours, spas and wellness centres can now operate at 50 per cent capacity till 8 pm.

The civic body has also allowed coaching classes for competitive examinations to operate till 8 pm on all days at 50 per cent capacity. Also, the students and faculty should have taken at least one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine. Educational institutes continue to remain closed for classroom teaching.

The daily positivity rate in the city has been below the 5 per cent mark for a long time now. As such, there was immense pressure from traders’ associations and political parties to relax the timings for their business activities.

Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar, while declaring the relaxations, has warned that restrictions will be back if the daily positivity rate crosses 7 per cent.


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