GUWAHATI, July 18 - After three weeks of continued lockdown, the State government today announced a series of relaxations for the first phase of unlock for Kamrup (Metro) district beginning from Monday even as it conceded that it was now imperative to maintain a balance between �life and livelihood� till the vaccine for COVID-19 arrives.
Chief Secretary Kumar Sanjay Krishna told reporters here that shops and business establishments will remain open on one side of the road on alternate days from 7 am to 5 pm from Monday to Friday. The deputy commissioner will chalk out the guidelines in consultation with the trade bodies.
He also said that no decision has been taken by the State government as yet on opening educational institutes.
The Chief Secretary, while asserting that the lockdown was a success, also said shopkeepers will be allowed to operate only with 50 per cent employees and all employees, including owner, should test negative for COVID-19.
He also informed that the health department will conduct random tests in all the shops and market areas.
Pharmaceuticals, medical equipment and medicine wholesalers will be allowed from Monday to Friday, while medical stores can operate on all days.
All the government offices, financial institutions, including banks, and private offices have been allowed to function but with 30 per cent work force at a time. Private vehicles, both four-wheelers and two-wheelers, have been barred from coming onto the streets except for medical emergency and official duty.
However, while there will be a complete lockdown on weekends in the district, curfew will remain in force from 6 pm to 6 am each day at least for the next two weeks.
The State government has also decided to impose on-the-spot fine of Rs 1,000 on those who refrain from wearing face mask in public places. Earlier the fine was Rs 500.
There continues to a ban on cinema halls, gyms, yoga centres, shopping malls and swimming pools. Further, movement of city buses too has been restricted until further order. However, manual rickshaws, autorickshaws (except e-rickshaws) and cabs have been allowed to ply with certain dos and dont�s vis-�-vis maintaining distance and sanitization.
Although all the marketplaces, including GMC designated markets, will remain closed, door-to-door delivery of poultry, fish and mutton has been allowed. Along with that, restaurants too have been allowed to operate allowing takeaways only.
Wholesalers of essential and non-essential items have also been allowed to operate subject to one-side-of-the-road norm from 7 am to 5 pm. Wholesalers of vegetables, fish and meat will also be allowed to operate between 7 am and 5 pm. Pan, gutkha and cigarette shops will remain closed.
The State government has also made it mandatory for all the shopkeepers, employees, delivery persons, technical repair personnel and any other person coming in close contact of the public to get tested for COVID-19 and carry the report all the time.
The warehouses, industrial establishments and construction activities would be allowed to continue subject to the workforce staying within the premises.