Himachal Eases Covid Curbs: Shops to Open from 9 am-5 pm, RT-PCR Test Not Required to Enter State

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The Himachal Pradesh government on Friday announced several lockdown relaxation measures including extension of shop timings and doing away with mandatory RT-PCR test report for entering into the state. Though the corona curfew will be extended beyond June 14, intra-state transport will now be allowed.

The decisions were taken by the state cabinet in a meeting chaired by Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur. Accepting the demand from the trading community, the government has decided to increase the timing of shops from 9 am to 5 pm from June 14. However, shops will remain closed on Saturday and Sunday.

It was decided that offices would function with 50 per cent of staff, with staff strength of 75 and above and all the medical colleges, ayurvedic colleges and dental colleges would open from June 23 onwards. Pharmacy and nursing schools too would open from June 28.

Intra-state public transport would be allowed with 50 per cent occupancy and though Section 144 would be lifted but Corona curfew to continue from 5pm to 5am. And what could give a boost to tourist activity, the state has done away with mandatory RT-PCR reports for entering into the state.

The state government has also decided to provide a relief of about Rs 40 crore to the transport sector, one of the worst hit sector by the pandemic. The relief would include an Interest Subvention Scheme on working capital for stage carriage operators, under which a loan amount of Rs 2 lakh per bus and maximum amount up to Rs 20 lakh would be provided to the bus operators as working capital.

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