Govt. allows walkers as more relaxations kick in

Gymnasiums, sports complexes, parks, beaches, swimming pools to remain closed

The government has lifted the ban on walking and running for exercise in public spaces as the State entered a relatively less stringent COVID-19 lockdown phase on Monday.

Early morning walkers can hit the road between 5 a.m. and 7 a.m. Those who prefer to go for a stroll in the evening can do so between 7 p.m. and 9 p.m.

Walkers and runners should maintain physical distance and observe the mask mandate. However, gymnasiums, stadiums, sports complexes, parks, beaches, walking circuits, weekend destinations, and swimming pools will remain shuttered until further notice.

Stationery shops would remain shuttered. Textile shops, jewellery and footwear showrooms “catering to weddings” can do business till 5 p.m. on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. They should only permit shoppers who furnish wedding cards. The ban on casual sales remained in place. However, such institutions can deliver their wares to citizens at their homes.

Review on June 9

The government will review the shutdown on June 9. It will gauge its impact on the pandemic and decide whether to intensify or relax the restrictions further.

Kerala had clamped down heavily on life, mobility, retail and production from May 8 to retard a seemingly relentless tide of coronavirus infections that threatened to overwhelm the State’s health infrastructure.

A recent dip in the test positivity rate had prompted the government on Saturday to lessen the intensity of regulations to coax some moribund sectors back into life.

The government also lifted the triple lockdown in Malappuram, bringing the entire State under a standard pandemic control code.

Reviving economy

The administration has attempted to walk a tightrope between reviving the economy and keeping the pestilence at bay.

Factories, including those in the traditional coir and cashew sectors, can operate with not more than 50% of the registered workforce.

The Kerala State Road Transport Corporation will conduct minimal operations for workers. Banks can remain open till 5 p.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

The government has allowed stone crushing units to operate with minimal staff to cater to the building sector. So can shops selling construction material. The sale of toddy as takeaway has resumed. The government has set no date for the resumption of the sale of legal alcohol.

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