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Assam eases Covid curbs, allows some students to attend physical class


Guwahati, Sep 1: The Assam government on Wednesday relaxed the restrictions imposed during the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic as it reduced duration of the night curfew and allowed certain categories of students to attend physical classes from September six.

Announcing the directives prepared by the Assam State Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA) in consultation with the health and education department, Health Minister Keshab Mahanta told a press conference here that all workplaces and government and private offices can now function as per usual working hours, but not beyond 8 pm. Mahanta said night curfew will be in force from 9 pm to 5 am across the state from Wednesday. Earlier, it started at 8 pm.

According to the new directives, final year or final semester students of post-graduate, graduate, higher secondary, nursing and other technical courses shall be allowed to attend physical classes from September six, if they have received at least one dose of Covid vaccine. Before the start of physical classes, there will be a three-day vaccination drive for students, faculty and staff, the minister said. Hostels of educational institutions are allowed to open only for the post-graduate, graduate and higher secondary final year students who are fully vaccinated.

All business/commercial establishments, restaurants, hotels, resorts, sales counters, showrooms, cold storages warehouses, shops dealing in groceries, fruits and vegetables, dairy products and fodder can be open up to 8 pm across the state. Cinema and theatre halls shall continue to remain closed. All the fresh directives, except for the educational institutions, start from September 1, 2021, until further orders, the minister added. Pillion riding shall be allowed for mask-wearing persons who have taken at least one dose of vaccine.

Inter and intra-district public transport with 100 per cent seating capacity is allowed for people having at least a single dose of vaccine but there will be no standing passenger. A standing passenger will be fined heavily while the driving license of drivers and registration of vehicles carrying such passengers will be cancelled, Mahanta said. Meeting/gathering of up to 50 people in open or closed spaces is allowed for persons who received at least one dose of the vaccine with prior intimation to local police.

However, with prior permission of jurisdictional deputy commissioner, a gathering of up to 200 people with at least a single dose may be allowed for public and private functions subject to the ceiling of 50 per cent of the hall capacity, in case of closed spaces. Up to 50 people having at least one dose of vaccine are allowed to attend weddings, funerals or last rite programmes.

Religious places are allowed to open with up to 40 people having at least one dose of vaccine per hour for iconic places and 20 such people per hour for others.

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