New lockdown comes into force in TN, temples open for devotees in many areas

The new phase of Covid-19 induced lockdown has come into effect from this morning in Tamil Nadu. As per an announcement of the State government, small temples (with annual income less than Rs 10,000), churches and mosques allowed devotees for worship with compliance to the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) issued in this regard earlier.

Various relaxations in commercial activities have also come into force. According to Chief minister Edappadi K Palaniswami, “The decision to continue the current lockdown is based on the views expressed by district collectors and public health expert besides consultations with senior ministers.”

Palaniswami announced fresh relaxations in areas under the Chennai City Police jurisdiction from August 1. All commercial establishments, private companies and export units which are operating with 50% workforce would be allowed to do so with 75%, he said.

“E-commerce companies are allowed to ship both essential and non-essential goods,” the Chief Minister said. Restaurants and tea shops would be allowed to take in customers up to 50% of their seating capacity between 6 a.m. and 7 p.m. Restaurants could be allowed to offer parcel services between 6 a.m. and 9 p.m., like before, the CM said.

Intense lockdown will continue to be enforced on all Sundays in August across the state. The state sought to take a measured approach in relaxing the curbs after collectors were keen on continuing the intense lockdown.

There will be no relaxation in containment zones. Industrial and commercial establishments are asked to encourage employees to work from home and adhere to standard operating procedures. Status quo will be maintained for rail and air transport and e-passes from district collectors/Greater Chennai Corporation commissioner for inter-district and inter-state movement.