UP relaxes lockdown from June 1 except in 20 districts where active cases above 600

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Lucknow, May 30 (PTI) The Uttar Pradesh government on Sunday relaxed the COVID-19 lockdown from June 1 allowing shops and markets outside containment zones to open for five days a week, but it would not be implemented for now in 20 districts where active cases are over 600.

Once the tally of active COVID-19 cases in these districts falls below 600, relaxation will be implemented there, said Uttar Pradesh Chief Secretary R K Tiwari.

The 20 districts where there would be no relaxation yet are Meerut, Lucknow, Saharanpur, Varanasi, Ghaziabad, Gorakhpur, Muzaffarnagar, Bareilly, Gautam Buddh Nagar, Bulandshahr, Jhansi, Prayagraj, Lakhimpur-Khiri, Sonbhadra, Jaunpur, Baghpat, Moradabad, Ghazipur, Bijnor and Deoria.

For the rest of the 55 districts, shops and markets outside containment zones will be allowed to remain open 7 am to 7 pm from Mondays to Fridays from June 1, Tiwari said in a government statement.

Eateries on highways and vendors will be allowed to operate, according to the statement.

It also said night curfew will remain in place from 7 pm to 7 am and weekend restrictions or 'corona curfew' will be there on Saturdays and Sundays.

Instructions were issued that during weekend restrictions, cleanliness, sanitisation and fogging campaigns will be carried out.

Shopkeepers and their employees will have to wear masks, maintain a two-yard distance and ensure the arrangement of sanitiser. This rule will also be applicable for the customers, it said.

While there would be full attendance for frontline workers, for the rest of the government officers, there would be 50 per cent attendance with employees being called in a rotational manner. COVID helpdesk must be established at all the offices.

The private sector has been asked to encourage the employees to work from home.

According to the statement, industrial units will stay open while vegetable markets in the densely populated areas will function in open areas.

At railway stations, airport and bus stand all the COVID protocols have to be followed, screening of passengers and antigen tests have to be conducted and then sent to hospitals. Buses of the UP Roadways have been allowed to operate within the state with passengers according to seating capacity, it said.

Schools, colleges and educational institutes will remain closed while teachers and other staff have been allowed to come to the school for administrative work.

Barring the containment zones, not more than five devotees will be allowed inside the religious places at a time. Coaching centres, cinema halls, gyms, swimming pools, clubs and shopping malls will remain completely closed, the statement said.

A maximum of 20 persons will be allowed in a funeral procession, it said. PTI NAV NSD NSD