Tamil Nadu recorded over 10,000 coronavirus cases. Over 600 people tested positive for novel coronavirus in last 24 hours. Chennai alone accounted for 6,750 COVID-19 cases.
Citing the high number of coronavirus cases, Tamil Nadu government has decided to continue lockdown restriction in 12 districts. This 12 districts are Chennai, Kancheepuram, Tiruvallur, Chengelpet, Villupuram, Cuddalore, Ranipet, Tiurpattur, Kallakurichi, Tiruvannamalai, Ariyalur and Perambalur.
The state government has relaxed lockdown norms in 25 districts — Coimbatore, Erode, Salem, Tiruppur, Namakkal, Karur, Tirunelveli, Thenkasi, Tuticorin, Kanniyakumari, Theni, Madurai, Sivagangai, Virudhunagar, Ramanathapuram, Dindigul, Pudukottai, Tirchy, Thiruvarur, Tanjavur, Nagapattinam, Krishnagiri, Dharmapuri, Vellore and Nilgiris.
People in these districts do not need the state-government e-pass for travelling. However, the state government warned people to avoid unnecessary travel during the fourth phase of lockdown. Buses, cabs and auto-rickshaws can ply on roads.
Employees in these 25 districts need to take permission from the authorities for travel. Special buses can ferry up to 20 employees for travelling to office. The vans can carry up to seven people at a time. While small cars can accommodate two passengers apart from the driver, the SUVs are allowed to ferry three people.
In Chennai and other 11 affected districts, taxis and auto-rickshaws will be permitted only for medial purposes. To travel in these areas, Tamil Nadu e-pass is mandatory. Movement of tourists to hill stations such as Nilgiris, Kodaikanal will not be allowed. "The government is continuously monitoring the virus spread. It will announce further relaxations when infection rates come down," Tamil Nadu chief minister Palaniswami said.
The state government has also restarted economic activities in these 25 districts during the fourth phase of lockdown. The industries with less than 100 employees can operate with 100% workforce. Those with more than 100 personnel can work with 50% of staffers or a minimum of 100 workers (whichever is higher). The new relaxation for industries applies to all regions in Tamil Nadu, barring Chennai city and its suburbs.
Schools, colleges and all educational institutions will remain shut. However, the evaluation of answer sheets of 12th standard public examinations was allowed.
Movement of individuals are prohibited from 7 pm to 7 am. Wearing masks will be mandatory in public places. Temples, mosques, churches and all other places of religious worship will remain closed till May 31. For social gathering like marriages, up to 50 people will be allowed.
India's COVID-19 count increased to 96,169 today. The death toll rose to 3,029, according to ministry of health and family welfare.