The West Bengal government on Monday extended the pandemic restrictions till June 30 but allowed certain relaxations to government and private offices, shops and restaurants.
All government offices will function as per normal working hours and private and corporate offices between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. both with not more than 25% of the strength.
All production units and industries, including IT and IT enabled services, can function with 50% of the strength in each shift and subject to vaccination and wearing of masks. “We have allowed some relaxations so that things do not remain completely shut. In certain places we have allowed 25% to 50% relaxations. We have allowed shops to remain open so they can generate business and earn a living,” Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said. She said no activity except emergency services will be allowed between 9 p.m. to 5 a.m.
All modes of public transport, including local trains, will however remain closed. The employers in the private sector will have to make transport arrangements from their end and obtain e-passes from the police. Restaurants and bars, including those in hotels, can remain open from 12 noon till 8 p.m. with 50% seating. Retail shops in malls and market complexes can remain open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. with 25% workforce, and “restricted entry of people/customers up to 30% at a time”.
“Indoor/outdoor shooting and associated activities related to TV programmes and cinema may resume with not more than 50 persons per unit at a time, subject to vaccination, wearing of mask, maintenance of physical distancing with own transport arrangements with e-passes from Kolkata police,” the order says. While gyms, swimming pools, spas along with cinema halls and beauty parlours will remain closed, games and sports may resume in stadiums and clubs with sports facilities without spectators.
The Chief Minister said about two crore doses of vaccines have been administered in the State. The government announced the lockdown on May 15, weeks after the eight-phase election. This is the second time that the COVID-19 restrictions have been implemented.
The State on Monday recorded 3,519 infections in the past 24 hours. The number of active cases stood at 20,191 while 78 people died due to the infection.