Kerala to enter into an intense 4-day lockdown phase

The restrictions to apply from June 4 evening

Kerala braced itself on June 4 to enter into a highly restrictive four-day COVID-19 lockdown phase from 7.30 p.m.

The new set of regulations seeks to curb mobility, retail, life, commerce and production to rein in disease transmission. The government had further tightened restrictions for four days to drag down the test positivity rate that hovered around 15%.

It will review the impact of the “intensified” clampdown on the pandemic on June 10 or earlier. As per the new regulations, only ration shops and stores selling food, groceries, fruits, vegetables, milk and dairy products could open.

There is no ban on the retail of meat, fish, cattle feed, animal husbandry and poultry farming-related activities. The sale of toddy as a parcel has been banned.

Bakeries could also open for business. The government has restricted business timings for all establishments, except medical shops and fuel pumps, between 9 a.m. and 7.30 p.m.

Janitors and domestic help could report for work during the clampdown. Government establishments and public sector units should remain closed till June 9. They could open with less than 50% of the workforce on June 10, subject to further orders.

The administration has asked office-bearers of resident associations in high-rises to ensure that COVID-19 positive persons are adequately quarantined.

The association should display the flat number where a COVID-19 case is reported and inform the health authorities promptly. The government has also warned against the social ostracisation of COVID-19 patients and their families.

Slaughter tapping and re-plantation of rubber are permitted. COVID-19 negative test result is not required for travel of any persons, including couriers, within the State.

However, the RT-PCR test is mandatory for persons seeking to enter the State. Other measures, including the curb on non-essential travel, remained. Citizens should sequester themselves indoors.

They could venture out to stock up on medicines and essential supplies from neighbourhood shops. Those who ventured a good distance away from homes without adequate reason risked prosecution.

The ban on public transport and inter-district travel remained. Autorickshaws and taxis could ferry passengers to and fro from airports, railway stations, vaccination centres and hospitals. Night curfew regulations remained. Freight movement would continue as usual.

The government had earlier eased the restriction on walking or jogging for exercise in pubic spaces in the morning (5 a.m. to 7 p.m.) and evening (7 p.m. to 9 p.m.). The current order did not specify whether the administration had banned outdoor exercise during the four days.

Hotels could open for home delivery. The ban on indoor dining and takeaways continued. The police have mobilised an estimated 25,000 officers across the State in shifts to impose the clampdown.

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