CHENNAI: Colleges across the state have been allowed to open from September 1 as the Tamil Nadu government relaxed the restrictions imposed during the second wave of the ongoing pandemic.
Initially, schools catering to IX, X, XI, and XII were allowed to open from September 1 but now the government is considering opening it from Class I to VIII after gaining experience from the functioning of these senior classes. A decision on resuming classes for nursery and Standards I to VIII from September 15 will be announced after consultation.
The classes for Standards IX, X, XI, and XII will begin on a rotational basis and the government has stated that noon meal schemes can resume in these schools.
Another big relaxation for the state is opening up of cinema halls from Monday. The cinema halls can function from August 23 with 50 percent occupancy. The theatres were shut down from April 26 this year in the wake of a surge in Covid cases due to the second wave. The move is a blessing for the cinema industry with the festival season around the corner.
Similarly, the state government has relaxed the restriction by allowing public transport from Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka to resume from August 23. Mohammed Afzal, President of Tamil Nadu Omni Bus Owners Association, says that the opening of inter-state travel is a good move but says the revival of the transport sector depends on public movement. "The major issue is restarting the travel services for which there is a need for a lot of clearances and taxes. We hope it will take another six months for things to get normal," he says.
Even shops and other activities which have been allowed till 9 p.m so far, have been allowed till 10 p.m from Monday.
However, what is more, refreshing is that the beaches which were shut for people are being opened again allowing people to get a whiff of fresh air.
Extending the lockdown for two more weeks till September 6, Chief Minister MK Stalin on Saturday, said all organisations which have been allowed to function should ensure that their employees are vaccinated.
He appealed to the public to make use of the relaxations with full responsibility by adhering to the guidelines since the relaxations have been given considering the livelihood aspects of the people and educational aspects of the children. He also appealed to the people to get vaccinated to make Tamil Nadu a Corona-free State.
Relaxations that come into force September 1:
From September 1 onwards, classes for Standards IX, X, XI, and XII will begin on a rotational basis; noon meal schemes can resume in these schools. On the basis of the experience gathered from the functioning of these classes, a decision on resuming classes for nursery and Standards I to VII from September 15 will be announced after consultation.
All colleges will function from September 1 and classes will take place on a rotational basis following standard operating procedure. All teaching and non-teaching staff should have been vaccinated. Similarly, diploma courses and polytechnic colleges can function from September 1.
Anganwadi centres can function from September 1 for providing noon meals to the children. District Collectors should ensure that the employees of these centres are vaccinated.
Relaxations that come into force from August 23:
Cinema theatres can function with 50 percent occupancy. Theatre owners should ensure that all employees in the theatres are vaccinated.
Beaches will be opened to the public. Chennai Corporation in Chennai and Collectors in the rest of the State should take steps for vaccinating small traders and their workers who have shops on the beachfront.
Zoological parks, botanical parks, boathouses can also function.
All shops and other activities which have been allowed till 9 p.m will be allowed to function till 10 p.m.
Information Technology and IT-related organisations can function with 100 percent staff strength.
Public transport from Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka will resume.
Creches can function. The in-charges and employees of the creches should have been vaccinated.
Swimming pools can function with 50 percent occupancy only for training purposes only. The trainers and those above the age of 18 years should have been vaccinated.
The employment training classes conducted by Tamil Nadu Skill Development Corporation and Tamil Nadu Corporation for Development of Women can resume.
Bars in lodges and entertainment clubs will be allowed to function.