Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh
Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh

Punjab eases COVID-19 curbs; restaurants, cinemas, gyms allowed to operate at 50 pc capacity

ANI | Updated: Jun 16, 2021 03:28 IST

Chandigarh (Punjab) [India], June 16 (ANI): With the state's Covid positivity rate coming down to 2 per cent, Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Tuesday announced easing of the restrictions, allowing restaurants and other eating joints, as well as cinemas and gyms to reopen at 50 per cent capacity beginning today.
He also announced increase in gathering of people, including for weddings and cremations, to 50 persons.
Under the new guidelines, which will remain in effect till June 25 when they will be again reviewed, daily night curfew will be in place from 8 pm to 5 am, with weekend curfew from 8.00 pm on Saturday upto 5.00 am on Monday, across the state.

However, all essential activities, including those covered under existing 'exemptions', will remain unaffected, unhindered and exempted from curfew restrictions.

Chairing a high-level virtual Covid review meeting, the Chief Minister ordered opening of all restaurants (including in hotels), cafes, coffee shops, fast food outlets, dhabas etc., cinemas, gyms at maximum 50 per cent of capacity, subject to all their employees having received at least one dose of vaccination. AC buses can also ply with 50 per cent occupation.
Bars, Pubs and 'Ahatas' shall, however, continue to remain closed. All educational institutions i.e. schools and colleges will also continue to be closed.
District Authorities have been asked to determine opening timings of non-essential shops, including on Sunday, on the basis of the local situation, while ensuring that crowds are avoided. They shall also continue to ensure strict implementation of all the extant directives of MHA/State Government on Covid appropriate behaviour, including social/physical distancing, wearing of face masks etc, directed the Chief Minister.
The announcements came as Chief Secretary Vini Mahajan, citing a University of Cambridge Judge Business School report of June 14, on Growth of Infection in Punjab, told the meeting that based on its findings, all districts are on downward trajectories for new cases. "The estimated trend value of the daily growth rate was -9.2 per cent as of June 14. This implies that reported new cases will halve in 7 days, under the assumption that the growth rate remains constant. As of June 14, the estimated Reproduction number Rt for Punjab stood at 0.69, significantly below one. Newly reported COVID-19 cases are likely to decline to about 210 per day by June 28," she added.
Further, said Vini, while numbers of cases are low, there are indications that the growth rates of cases, while negative, have recently reversed direction from their downward paths in Fazilka, Jalandhar, and Shahid Bhagat Singh Nagar. The projected number of deaths by 28th June stand at 21.
The state had hit its second COVID wave peak on May 8, with 9,100 cases, which had come down to a low of 629 on June 14. (ANI)