TN announces massive relaxations, but what about Covid-19?

In line with the Centre’s unlock 4.0 norms, the Tamil Nadu government on Sunday announced that from September 1 e-passes would not be needed for travel within the state, buses could ply within districts, and malls, hotels, resorts, clubs and places of worship were free to open.

The intense lockdown on Sundays, which had little meaning with people crowding market places on Saturday, too will go. While many have welcomed this, there have been fears on social media that this might lead to spread of coronavirus

“Relaxations have been announced only because of economy, not because the corona spread has reduced. Your safety is in your hands. Protect yourself by wearing masks,” read a message.

Industries, government offices and banks will be allowed to function with 100 per cent of staff; they had previously been limited to 50 per cent. However, all workplaces are being advised to continue work-from-home if possible.

As many as 50 incoming flights will be allowed to land at Chennai airport. Inter-state trains on chosen routes have been permitted. A decision on intra-state trains will be taken after September 15, the government said.

The places of worship can be open for public with limited number of people at a time. Tourists will be allowed in Ooty and Kodaikanal with e-pass procured from district collectors.

Intra-state bus service can resume from 1 September while Chennai Metro has been allowed to resume operations from 7 September. Government and private offices can work with 100% staff attendance but Work From Home has been strongly advised.