No night curfew, restaurants open till 10pm and shops till 8pm. These are among the many relaxations that have been allowed in Gujarat under the Central government’s guidelines for Unlock 3, meant to ease curbs on economic activity as the nation continues its fight against the COVID-19 epidemic.
However, the state government has decided to not allow religious functions for upcoming festivals in August. “If the COVID-19 situation continues like this, festivals like Navratri will not be observed,” Chief Minister Vijay Rupani said.
Navratri will be observed between October 17 and 25 this year. The festival is known to generate a lot of revenue for businesses in Gujarat.
“Night curfew will be completely lifted in the state from August 1. Apart from this, all shops will be allowed to remain open till 8 pm, while restaurants can operate till 10 pm,” stated a press release issued after a high-level meeting, headed by the Chief Minister.
Gyms and yoga centres will also be allowed to open from August 5, it said, adding that as per Centre’s guidelines schools, coaching classes, and cinema halls will not open in August
On Wednesday, Rupani had said the state government’s aim was to ensure that the deadly infection does not spread even as economic activity continues in the state.
To ensure that the state can safely increase its economic activity, which came to a halt after a nationwide coronavirus lockdown was announced in March, the Gujarat government has increased fines on flouting Covid safety norms.
Starting August 1, citizens stepping out without face masks will be fined Rs 500 as opposed to the previous penalty of Rs 200, Mr Rupani had said.
Gujarat has so far reported over 59,000 cases of coronavirus infection with 2,396 deaths. The state’s COVID-19 case mortality rate is almost double the nation average of 2.23 per cent.
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