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Business News/ News / India/  Chennai Metro, bus services to resume as Tamil Nadu relaxes Covid-19 curbs

Chennai Metro will resume operations next week, after a gap of almost one and a half months as Tamil Nadu government decided to relax some Covid-19-related restrictions in the state. The state government has retained the lockdown in state for another week, till June 28, while giving some relaxation in restrictions in 27 districts, including four in the Chennai region.

Metro services in state capital Chennai have been allowed to resume with 50 per cent occupancy. The government has also done away with the need for e-registration to travel in autorickshaws and taxis in Chennai and three other nearby districts - Thiruvallur, Kancheepuram and Chengalpet.

Non-airconditioned inter-district buses have been permitted to ply between these four districts with 50 per cent capacity.

Tamil Nadu government has categorised 38 districts in the states into three categories for the purpose of easing Covid-19 curbs. As of now, 23 districts in the second category have been granted some relaxations, whereas other four districts in the third category have got the most freedom.

Chennai, and its nearby Tiruvallur, Kanchipuram and Chengelpet districts in northern region falls under the third category. Southern districts including Tuticorin, Ariyalur and Tiruchirappalli in central delta region are among the 23 districts in the second group.

Lockdown restrictions have been retained in 11 districts in the first category - seven in western region including Coimbatore and four in Cauvery delta areas including Thanjavur. They will continue to get the benefit existing relaxations, like essential shops allowed to do business in the state.

The latest guidelines on Covid-mandated lockdown in Tamil Nadu prohibit public entry to places of worship. Cinemas would continue to be closed down across the state though film shoots are permitted with a maximum of 100 personnel.

Schools, colleges and universities can carry out administrative work related to admissions, but these institutions would in effect remain closed for regular classes for students.

E-pass from district collectors is necessary for a visit to hill stations like Kodaikanal and the Nilgiris district. Relaxations common to 27 districts include extension of time for a variety of retail shops including standalone provision and vegetable stores besides salons till 7 pm from 6 AM; previously such shops were allowed to be open from 6 AM to 5 PM.

All kinds of construction activities have been allowed in these 27 districts. In the second group of districts, essential government departments would function with 100 per cent workforce, other wings with 50 per cent and private firms with 33 per cent.

For districts in the third category, all government offices would work with 100 per cent employees and private companies with 50 per cent staffers. In the second category regions, for travel in autos and taxis, e-registration is necessary.

Effective June 14, the government allowed more relaxations for 27 districts and it includes re-opening of government run retail liquor outlets and salons.

With a spike in coronavirus cases, the state government has imposed a state-wide lockdown on May 10 where most services and public transportation were closed down.

On Sunday, the state recorded 7,817 new COVID-19 cases and 182 deaths.

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Updated: 20 Jun 2021, 09:18 PM IST
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