COVID-19: Rajasthan clamps more restrictions

Jaipur, Apr 23 (PTI) The Rajasthan government clamped more restrictions on Friday in view of a surge in coronavirus cases in the state.

The home department issued fresh guidelines in addition to the restrictions imposed since April 19.

According to the fresh guidelines that will come into force from Sunday morning, inter-district movement of private vehicles has been restricted and the timings for shops and government offices have been shortened.

Retail and wholesale shops of grocery, food items, cattle feed and flour mills will be allowed to open for five hours from 6 am to 11 am from Monday to Friday, dairy and milk shops will open daily from 6 am to 11 am and from 5 pm to 7 pm.

Similarly, mandis, vegetable and fruit shops, garland vendors or shops will open daily from 6 am to 11 am. Vendors who sell fruits and vegetables on hand carts, e-rickshaws, vans etc. will also be allowed from 6 am to 11 am daily.

Earlier, the shops were allowed to be open till 5 pm.

Banks, insurance services will be allowed to operate from 10 am to 2 pm, while petrol pumps will be open for private vehicles from 7 am to 12 noon.

Occupants in private vehicles will be allowed up to 50 per cent of the seating capacity, including the driver.

Barring medical emergency and the most essential services, inter-district travel in private vehicles will not be allowed. The restriction on inter-district travel in private vehicles will come into force from Monday.

Only the government offices involved in COVID management will be open. Even these offices will close by 4 pm, two hours before time.

The forest, ayurveda, animal husbandry and information and technology departments have also been included into the list of government offices that will remain open.

Marriage functions will be allowed for only three hours.

From Friday evening to Monday morning, a weekend curfew will be there under which only emergency and essential services will be allowed. Those going for vaccination, hospital or banking services and those travelling to and from bus stands, railway stations and airports will be allowed.

The government is not calling these restrictions a 'lockdown'.

Principal Secretary, Home, Abhay Kumar said the guidelines were issued in addition to those regarding the 'Public Discipline Fortnight', which were imposed from April 19 to May 3.

Under the previous set of guidelines, markets were closed except grocery, food, milk, fruits, vegetables and cattle-feed shops. All private offices, select government offices were also closed and certain exemptions were allowed.

'The numbers of COVID deaths and positive patients have been constantly increasing. In such a situation, it is very important to break the chain of the infection. For this, strict steps, instead of a lockdown, are required,' Kumar said in the order. PTI SDA RC