Easing curbs further, the Tamil Nadu government on Saturday allowed schools, colleges, cinemas, zoos and amusement parks to reopen from next month by following Standard Operating Procedures to prevent the spread of coronavirus. Announcing the new relaxations, Chief Minister K Palaniswami said religious, cultural, social, political and entertainment events could be held from November 16 and upto 100 people could take part. He declared the fresh relaxations following consultations with experts, and top government officials.
Suburban train services may resume, he said in an official release, adding however, a decision in this regard has to be taken by the Central government. Schools, all colleges, research and other educational institutions, besides hostels would be allowed to open from November 16, the chief minister said. As regards schools, classes for standards 9-12 alone shall be conducted, he said. Schools, whichwere closed in March, are set to resume.
Though the government had earlier announced that students in classes from 10 to 12 would be permitted to go to schools on a voluntary basis from October 1, the move was dropped subsequently in view of concerns over the virus spread. Using upto 50 per cent seats, cinematheatres, and multiplexes and zoos and amusement parks shall all resume functioning from November 10.
SOP should be followed, Palaniswami said adding the relaxations are not applicable to containment zones. With the easing of curbs, most restrictions have been lifted.
Wholesale fruit dealers would be allowed to work at the Koyambedu complex from November 2. Fruit and vegetable retailers shall be permitted at Koyambedu premises from November 16.
Upper limit has been enhanced for participation in weddings, funerals and now upto 100 people may take part in such gatherings.
Shoots -television and cinema- could be done by deploying “not more than 150 personnel.”
Swimming pools, beaches and tourist places, in general, would continue to be out of bounds for people and restrictions such as these would continue till November 30.
International air travel shall continue to be banned except for routes permitted by the Union Home Ministry.
For those coming into Tamil Nadu from other states/ union territories (barring Puducherry) ‘e- registration’ would continue to be implemented.
Also, for people visiting Ooty, Kodaikanal and Yercaud the prior registration shall be followed.
Palaniswami appealed to people to follow norms to prevent the spread of COVID-19 like wearing masks and help contain the virus.
The rate of infection has been brought under 7.30 per cent due to the work of doctors, Palaniswami said and pointed out that in the past one week the number of new cases was below 3,000.
Also, the active cases were in the range of only about 25,000, he added.