Chennai: Amid rapid surge in positive cases, fresh restrictions announced by the Tamil Nadu government to contain the spread of the second wave of the COVID virus, came into force on Saturday.
The government has also announced that if these restrictions did not yield the desired results, it will be constrained to impose night curfew, while the Greater Chennai Corporation imposed hefty fines of Rs 200 for not wearing masks and Rs 500 for spitting in public places.
The fresh restrictions, aimed at containing the virus spread, was announced on Thursday under the Disaster Management Act 2005. As per the Government Order issued by Chief Secretary Rajeev Ranjan religious congregations and festivals are prohibited until further notice.
Fruits and vegetable retail outlets in Koyambedu wholesale market complex is banned. Similarly, fruits and vegetable retail outlets in wholesale markets in all the districts were also banned from today, triggering protests from the retail traders.
The government also allowed following operations by strictly adhering to the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) except in containment zones.
While industries are permitted to function, industrial establishments should arrange for vaccination of their employees by following the guidelines issued by the Union Government.
Both public and private intra-state bus transport and metropolitan buses operated in Greater Chennai limits were permitted with only seating passengers. No standing passengers will be allowed and MTC is operating more than 400 additional bus services in the city from today.
Buses to Puducherry, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka were allowed to operate, but the passengers will be restricted to the seating capacity only. The following places are permitted to function with 50 per cent of the
capacity. They included all shops, including vegetable outlets, provision stores, shopping malls, big showrooms and big format stores can operate till 2300 hrs.
Similarly, restaurants, food courts and tea shops are permitted to operate (including take aways) till 2300 hrs, recreation clubs, entertainment, amusement parks, auditoriums, assembly halls, zoological parks, museum
cinemas, theatres and multiplexes, are allowed with 50 per cent seating capacity.
All social, political, academic, entertainment, sports, cultural and other functions are permitted in indoors with a maximum of 200 persons.
While allowing a maximum of 100 persons for marriage related functions, only 50 people are allowed to participate in funeral events.
While stadia and playgrounds are permitted to conduct sports competitions, spectators are not allowed and swimming pool is allowed only for sports training.
Exhibition halls are permitted only for business to business purposes and public worship in all temples, and religious places was permitted only till 2000 hrs.
Cinema and TV serial shootings are allowed with artistes and workers involved should compulsorily subjected to RTPCR tests and vaccination.
Rental vehicles and taxis including cabs are allowed to ply with maximum three passengers excluding the driver and autos are allowed to ply with maximum two passengers excluding the driver.
For persons travelling to Tamil Nadu from other States (excluding Puducherry, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh) and other countries the e-registration system will continue.
The ban on international flight operations will continue except those allowed by the Centre. Apart from the above mentioned measures, in order to contain the spread of the pandemic, field level teams were formed in all the districts to monitor the situation.
In addition, fever camps, surveillance of persons with fever, cough and cold on a daily basis and contact tracing was being intensified and civic authorities have launched door-to-door testing to identify people with symptoms of fever and cough, even as containment zones in the city crossed the 600-mark.
After announcing these fresh restrictions, the government yesterday warned that night curfew will be imposed with even more tough restrictions if these measures did not yield the desired results, while appealing to the people to extend their fullest cooperation in tackling the second wave of the COVID pandemic.