The lockdown relaxations that the Centre announced as part of Unlock 4.0 came into effect on 21st September. Considering the current scenario in Kerala, our government stated their own custom made rules.
The relaxations are in light of the sudden stoop in the economy. The members of CII stated that the current lockdown and increase in containment zones has led to a decrease in employment opportunities and even loss of jobs in our State. This would account for 95% loss of business in the State.
The rules are expected to be strictly followed along with the new normal, ‘wearing the mask’. Hopefully, we can ‘break the chain‘ instead of ‘breaking the rules’.
Here are the major changes in the lockdown relaxations:
Cultural and religious events
The State has cautiously waved a green signal to all the cultural, religious, academic, and sports events. The limit of people/guests have been increased from 50 to 100 and as usual, Covid-19 protocols are to be strictly followed.
The quarantine days for people travelling from other states have been cut short to 7 days instead of the usual 14 days. The decision was made on 22nd September though it faced objections from the Health Department which stated it as unscientific.
Schools and Colleges
Though there was a rush to open educational institutions, the surge in COVID cases has made the State Government keep schools, colleges and other educational institutions closed till September 30th. The central government did allow relaxation for students of classes 9 to 12 to voluntary seek personal guidance from their teachers. However, the State Government is yet to make a decision.
Shops and Restaurants
The state has come up with an alternative to avoid the rush in shops during peak hours. The shops are allowed to be open until 10 PM instead of 7 PM. Restaurants and bakeries on the other hand can remain open only till 9 PM. Dine-in facilities are also resumed in the light of Unlock 4.0. However, these relaxations are exclusive of containment zones.
Instead of relaxations in international air travel, it’s being suspended till the 30th of September. However, certain international flights may be exempted from the suspension by the competent authority.
Metro services in the state have also resumed by the start of September.
The pressure to open bars in Kerala have reached the peak, in light of the recent economic crisis Only parcel services through the BevQ app (the app that was developed to ease the crowd at alcohol outlets during the lockdown) were allowed until now.
A concrete decision on bars are yet to be made by the State Government.