Total lockdown ends in Chennai, shops to be open till 5 pm today

The four-day total lockdown in Chennai and other important cities of Tamil Nadu has come to an end and shops are open from this morning. The Tamil Nadu government on Wednesday said the four-day total shutdown in Chennai, Madurai and Coimbatore Corporation limits ending by today will not be extended.

It also announced a relaxation in the business hours of shops selling essential items including vegetables for April 30, saying they can function from 6 am to 5 pm.

The normally buzzing capital has come to a standstill with a double lockdown in place: a complete lockdown between April 26 and April 29, enforced during a longer nationwide lockdown that began in March and is currently scheduled to end on May 3.

In an official release, the State government appealed to the people not to rush to the shops in a hurry to buy essential commodities.

“People should show patience and maintain social distancing while at shops. They should wear masks since the Coronavirus is easily and speedily spreads from one person to another,” the government added.

Amidst rising COVID-19 cases in the state, Chief Minister K Palaniswami had on April 24 announced a complete shutdown from Sunday (April 26) in Chennai, Coimbatore and Madurai for four days, disallowing grocery shops as well and fully curtailing the movement of the public.

The shutdown in the corporation limits of Chennai, Madurai and Coimbatore, scheduled to end by Wednesday night, will revert to the pre-April 26 conditions, an official release here said.

“On April 30, to enable people buy essential items like vegetables, fruits and grocery, shops selling these will be allowed to remain open from 6 AM to 5 PM,” the release said. However, business hours will be curtailed from 6 AM to 1 PM from the next day, May 1, in adherence to the lockdown conditions announced earlier.