Tamil Nadu will restart bus services to 23 districts of the state from 6 am on June 28, with 50% occupancy. The latest press release issued by the state government on June 26 stated that bus services to category 2 districts will resume on Monday. These districts are Ariyalur, Cuddalore, Dharmapuri, Dindigul, Kallakurichi, Kanyakumari, Krishnagiri, Madurai, Perambalur, Pudukottai, Ramanathapuram, Ranipet, Sivaganga, Theni, Tenkasi, Tirunelveli, Tirupattur, Tiruvannamalai, Thoothukudi, Trichy, Villupuram, Vellore and Virudhunagar. On Friday, the government further relaxed the lockdown in the state by allowing bus services to restart in category 3 districts, with 50% occupancy. These are Chennai, Chenpalpattu, Kancheepuram and Tiruvallur.
All of these long distance buses will operate by complying with COVID-19 standard operating procedures and without air conditioning, the release adds. Further, Tamil Nadu Transport Minister Rajakannapan instructed to sanitise and follow Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) in the buses that are already functioning between category 3 districts. Both intra-district and inter-district public transport in category 2 and 3 districts have now been permitted with certain conditions.
Currently, public buses will not commute to category 1 districts which include Coimbatore, Nilgiris, Tiruppur, Erode, Salem, Karur, Namakkal, Thanjavur, Tiruvarur, Nagapattinam and Myladuthurai. The June 25 Government Order (GO) also added that travel to Nilgiris district, Kodaikanal, Yercaud, Yelagiri and Kutralam for emergency purposes shall only be permitted after obtaining an e-pass from the respective District Collectors.
On Friday, Tamil Nadu announced that the state-wide lockdown will be extended until July 5, with relaxations. The government announced that shopping malls will also be allowed to reopen, from 9 am to 7 pm. Eateries in malls will only have parcel service and play areas for children will remain closed. Apart from this, metro train services will also be available on Sundays and government holidays, every 10 minutes from 7 am till 9 pm, without rush hours. The train services will begin on Sunday, June 27.
All places of worship will also be open to devotees, with restrictions. Walking on beaches will also be allowed, but only from 5 am to 9 am. Food delivery will be allowed from restaurants between 6 am and 9 pm.