CHENNAI: Intensifying the measures for preventing the further spread of COVID-19, Chief Minister MK Stalin on Saturday announced that a complete lockdown will be in force for two weeks in Tamil Nadu from May 10.
In a statement here, the Chief Minister said during the full lockdown period, state government offices will not function except essential services like secretariat, health, revenue, disaster management, police, home guard, fire and rescue services, prisons department, district administration, electricity, drinking water supply treasuries etc. The heads of the essential departments should make arrangements for the transportation of their employees. This restriction will also apply to central government offices.
However, with a view to enable the public and establishments to prepare themselves for the complete lockdown, all shops and establishments will be allowed to function on Saturday and Sunday between 6 am and 9 pm.
The Chief Minister announced that all TASMAC shops would remain closed during the full lockdown period while only takeaway services would be allowed from restaurants/hotels/mess and tea shops. Tea shops can function only till noon. Recreation clubs, bars, auditoriums, entertainment/amusement parks, meeting halls will not function.
Restrictions on international flight service will continue (except for the routes allowed by the Union Home Ministry). The E-registration system will continue for those coming to Tamil Nadu from foreign countries and other states by air and train services. Public can use the website https://eregister.tngea.org and passengers will be allowed to go to railway stations and airports by producing necessary tickets.
Later, in a televised speech, the Chief Minister made a fervent plea to the people to adhere to the guidelines issued for preventing the spread of this infection. He said COVID-19 is curable and the people need not fear but they should cooperate with the complete lockdown as it is aimed at containing this infection. Admitting that the complete lockdown would affect the livelihoods of the people, he reasoned that without it, containing the infection would be difficult.
Giving a detailed account on how the spread of COVID-19 is surging ahead in many states, the Chief Minister, in his statement, said in Tamil Nadu, the number of new cases per day has gone above 10 percent in more than 23 districts. As on May 7, the positivity rate in the state stood at 1.35 percent. The decision to enforce a full lockdown has been taken based on the views expressed by health experts as well as the district collectors during the high-level meeting held on Friday.
The Chief Minister also appealed to the public to adhere to the guidelines issued by the government like maintaining physical distance in public places, wearing masks and approaching nearby hospitals once they develop symptoms.
The following are prohibited during the two-week-long complete lockdown:
State government offices (except essential services departments) will not function; this restriction will also apply to central government offices
Inter-district and intra-district movement of public and private transport, call taxis and auto rickshaws will remain prohibited
However, people will be allowed to move with necessary documents for essential work like weddings, last rites of close relatives, interviews/employment events and medical purposes.
Beauty parlours, haircutting saloons, spas will not function.
Food should be served to customers staying in hotels and lodges at their rooms and they will not be allowed to dine in general premises of the hotels
No permission for the functioning of hotels and lodges. However, these will be allowed to function for customers who stay for commercial reasons and for medical purposes.
Social/political/sports/entertainment/academic/cultural/festival related and other gatherings in both open and closed spaces will remain prohibited during the full lockdown period.
All cinemas/multiplex/theatres will remain closed.
No permission for public worship at places of worship. However, regular poojas/rituals/prayers can go ahead with the employees.
Consecration of temples and organising festivals will not be permitted.
Visit of public and tourists to tourist spots in the Nilgiris district, Kodaikkanal, Yercaud etc. is prohibited.
Beaches across Tamil Nadu will remain closed.
Parks, zoological parks, protected monuments of archaeological department, museums will remain closed.
Schools, colleges, universities, government and private training centres will remain closed. There will be no summer camps conducted by these institutions.
Sports training academies including swimming pools will not function.
No permission for the functioning of recreation clubs, bars, auditoriums, entertainment/amusement parks, meeting halls where the public gathers in large numbers.
All private offices, enterprises, Information Technology, Information Technology enabled services will not function. Factories, except those exempted, will not function. These offices can adopt the work from home system.
Big format shops (showrooms with a size of 3,000 sq.ft and above), shopping complexes and malls will not function. Provision stores and vegetable shops functioning in shopping complexes and malls have been prohibited.
The bar on retail trading at Koyambedu wholesale market will continue and similar restrictions will be in force at district level wholesale markets which sell fruits and vegetables.
The following are allowed during the complete lockdown period:
Grocery shops, vegetable shops, shops selling meat and fish will be allowed to open till 12 noon without air conditioning facility.
E-commerce enterprises like Dunzo will be allowed to deliver groceries, vegetables, meat and fish till 12 noon. All other shops will remain closed during the full lockdown period.
Standalone shops selling provisions and vegetables will be permitted to function till 12 noon without air-conditioning facility. Maximum 50 percent customers at a time will be allowed in these shops.
The following essential activities are allowed during the full lockdown period: Milk supply, distribution of newspapers, courier service, functioning of hospitals, medical laboratories, dispensaries, ambulance and mortuary vans, medical services, all freight services, vehicles carrying agricultural produces, carriers of medical oxygen, petrol, diesel and LPG etc.
Vehicles carrying pesticides, fertilisers, etc., used for agriculture will be allowed. Shops selling seeds, cattle feed can function between 6 am and noon.
Amma Canteens will continue to function
Street vendors selling vegetables and flowers will be allowed till noon.
Ration shops will be allowed to function between 8 am and noon.
NGOs, volunteers who serve the elderly, differently abled and those who have fallen sick can move around with identity cards and other documents.
During the full lockdown period, only takeaway services will be allowed in hotels between the following timings: 6 am and 10 am, noon and 3 pm and 6 pm and 9 pm. Swiggy, Zomato etc. can deliver food only during these time slots. Roadside food stalls will not be allowed.
E-commerce activities will be restricted only for delivering food, groceries, provisions, vegetables, meat and fish.
Judiciary and courts will function.
Ongoing in situ construction works will be allowed.
Press and media can function.
Continuous process industries and industries manufacturing essential commodities can function.
Only 50 persons will be allowed for wedding/wedding related events while only 20 persons will be allowed for last rites for the deceased.
Telecommunication and related activities will be allowed.
Loading and unloading of goods at godowns will be allowed.
Movement of workers in railway stations, ports and airports will be allowed.
Petrol and diesel bunks will continue to function.
Banks, ATMs, banking related transport, insurance services will be allowed with 50 percent of the workforce.