The Kerala government has released a set of fresh guidelines for the fourth phase of the nationwide lockdown, which has been extended till May 31. In the fourth phase, the state government has primarily focussed on easing the travel restrictions in Kerala.
Movement of people and vehicles within the district will be allowed only from 7 am to 7 pm. However, since the state has been witnessing a rise in COVID-19 cases among those with travel history to other states, the prohibition in inter-district and inter-state travel will continue.
Public transportation will now start operating within districts. Buses can operate at 50 percent seating capacity. However, in order to avoid huge losses, the state government has allowed vehicle tax exemptions and increased bus fares by 50 percent.
“Fare per kilometre will now be Re 1 and 10 paise as opposed to 70 paise earlier. However, those who are eligible for discounts need only pay half of the new fare,” Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said, adding that the fare hike is temporary and is charged to encourage physical distancing.
Barbershops and salons can operate with limited services, and shopping complexes can function with 50% of shops open.
Class 10 (SSLC) and remaining Higher Secondary and Vocational Higher Secondary examinations will be held from May 26 to 30. School bus vehicles will be allowed for this purpose.
Wearing masks and maintaining physical distancing has been made mandatory.
Although relaxations have been announced in areas outside containment, Kerala will follow complete lockdown on Sundays. Here’s the list of what’s permitted on Sundays.
Ease in transport services
> Movement of people and vehicles will be allowed within districts, barring containment zones, from 7 am to 7 pm. No passes are required for this. This will not be applicable to medical personnel. Electricians and other technicians should carry trade license copy.
> Four-wheelers, including taxis: Only two passengers, in addition to the driver, will be allowed. If a family is travelling, only three members and the driver will be allowed.
> Two-wheelers: Only one person, or two members of a family will be allowed.
> Auto-rickshaws can ply. Only one passenger, or a family of three members will be allowed in the vehicle.
Permitted activities, services
> Bars and toddy shops can sell liquor only as take-away from counters. Bevco liquor outlets to open after online systems are ready.
> Clubs can operate parcel services of food and liquor. However, not more than five members must wait inside the club. Non-members will not be allowed inside the premises.
> Barber shops and beauty salons can open for hair cutting and shaving services, but cannot offer other services or run the air-conditioner. Only two customers will be allowed at a time. Customers are encouraged to bring their own towels and make phone bookings.
> Take-away counters at restaurants will be allowed till 9 pm, while online home-delivery is extended till 10 pm.
> Shopping complexes, which are not malls, can function. Only 50% of the total shops can open on a rotational basis.
> Wedding ceremonies can have a maximum of 50 guests, maximum of 10 guests for associated functions.
> Maximum of 20 people will be allowed for funeral ceremonies. Religious institutions can open to carry out the last rites.
> Morning walks and cycling are allowed
> Educational institutions, including non-aided schools, can open to carry out preparations for examinations.
> Government officers can function with 50% staff. Others should work from home, and need to come to the office only if needed. Until further orders, government offices will remain closed on Saturday.
> Construction units and their supply chains, and good transport will be allowed.
Inter-state, inter-district travel
The state police chief Loknath Behera on Monday in an official statement announced that from Tuesday, there is no need to get passes for inter-district travel from 7 am to 7 pm, barring containment zones. But pass issued by the police will be necessary for travelling from one district to another, in between 7 pm and 7 am.
Passes are required for inter-state travel. For inter-state passes, visit https://covid19jagratha.kerala.nic.in/ and for inter-district travel, passes can be availed at https://pass.bsafe.kerala.gov.in/