On all days including Sundays, weddings can be conducted with a maximum of 100 persons.
In a bid to curtail the spread of COVID-19, the Tamil Nadu government has announced restrictions from April 20 including a night curfew between 10 p.m. and 4 a.m. and a complete lockdown on Sundays.
After a review meeting chaired by Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami, the government on April 18 announced that access to beaches, zoos, parks, museums and all tourist spots will be banned on all days. The government also postponed class 12 State Board examinations, without specifying a date, while allowing practical examinations to proceed as scheduled. The restrictions are likely to be reviewed on April 30.
Following the Tamil Nadu government’s announcement, Chief Electoral Officer Satyabrata Sahoo said the lockdown restrictions on May 2, a Sunday, will not apply as it is counting day for the April 6 Assembly polls.
During the night curfew, private and public transport, auto rickshaws, taxis and private vehicles will not be allowed to operate. However, vehicles for medical emergencies, auto rickshaws, taxis and private vehicles for transport to hospitals, airports and railway stations will be allowed during the night curfew. Apart from these, vehicles to transport essential items such as milk, and for newspaper delivery, medical services, pharmacies, ambulances, mortuary vans, vehicles carrying commodities and fuel will be allowed to operate. Fuel outlets will be allowed to function as usual.
On all days, hotels and restaurants (except on Sundays), tea shops, vegetable shops, grocery stores and all other shops, shopping malls, jewellery stores, big format stores can function with a maximum capacity of 50% at any given point of time, till 9 p.m.
On Sundays, hotels and restaurants will be allowed to provide only takeaway services. This shall be between 6 a.m. and 10 a.m., 12 p.m. and 3 p.m., and 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. Food delivery apps and e-commerce sites that provide food delivery services will be allowed to operate only during these times. Other e-commerce firms will not be allowed to operate on Sundays.
Transport between Tamil Nadu and other States and within districts will not be allowed during the night curfew. Private and public transport operators must ensure compliance of mask wearing, temperature checks of passengers, and avoiding overcrowding of vehicles, the government said.
Continuous Process Industries and industries engaged in manufacture of essential products will be allowed to function during the night curfew. Such industries have been directed to provide letters and identity cards to staff who will work at night to enable them to travel to work.
Full lockdown on Sundays
Announcing a complete lockdown on all Sundays across the State, as witnessed in 2021 during the peak of the pandemic, it said fish and meat markets, fruits and vegetable shops, movie theatres, commercial establishments and all shops will not be allowed to function. “Strict action will be taken against those who do not follow this,” the government said. However, essential and emergency services such as those allowed during the night curfew will be allowed on Sundays.
On all days including Sundays, weddings can be conducted with a maximum of 100 persons and funerals with a maximum of 50 persons following the laid out COVID-19 precautionary protocols.
The government also directed all Information Technology companies in the State to ensure that a minimum of 50% staff work from home.
Temple Kumbhabhisekam events which have already been planned can proceed with a maximum of 50 general public with employees of the temple and the temple administration by following the necessary protocols and precautions. Any new kumbhabhisekam events, religious functions have been advised to be postponed and no permission will be granted for the same.
Colleges, universities have been directed to conduct classes through the online mode and examinations should also be held only online. The government also banned all summer camps in the State.
The government said hotels which wished to convert their facilities as COVID Care Centres will be given permission. The Health Department will evaluate such facilities before giving permission. Such hotels cannot allow any customers to stay there.
The government also warned movie theatres of strict action if they are found flouting the 50% capacity norms and not following protocols such as provision of soaps and sanitisers, mandatory wearing of masks by visitors.