Covid-hit Karnataka issues guidelines for 14-day lockdown

Reeling under the pandemic’s second wave, the Karnataka government on Monday issued stringent guidelines for the 14-day lockdown from Tuesday night to May 12 morning.

“The guidelines, which are meant to break the chain of Covid transmission across the state, will come into effect from 9 p.m. on April 27 and will be in force till 6 a.m. on May 12,” Chief Secretary P. Ravi Kumar said in an order.

The decision to impose the lockdown with exemptions for essential services, transport of goods and scheduled travel by train or plane was taken at a state cabinet meeting earlier in the day.

As announced by Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa, movement of people, and public transportation in buses, taxis, autos and metro rail will be banned daily except from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. when markets and shops selling essential needs like milk, groceries, eggs, fish, meat, vegetables and fruits are allowed to function.

Liquor shops or outlets will also remain open from 6-10 a.m.

Home delivery of liquor or food parcels will be allowed to minimise movement of individuals outside their homes.

“Schools, colleges, cinema theatres, malls, gyms, hotels, restaurants, bars, pubs, clubs and non-essential shops will remain shut during the lockdown,” said the order.

Students appearing for scheduled exams are, however, allowed to travel in their own or private vehicles with their hall ticket as pass to commute.

“Citizens taking Covid test or vaccination will also be allowed to travel to the nearest designated centres in their city or town. Emergency travel for health reasons or out of station by train or plane can hire a cab or auto to and from railway station or airport with ticket as pass,” said the order.

Banks, ATMs, insurance offices, e-commerce firms, facilities in supply chain of essential goods, cold storage and warehousing are allowed to operate during the fortnight shutdown.

Hotels, restaurants and eateries are permitted to operate only kitchens for take-away or home delivery of food items. Service will be allowed in their premises.

Stadia and playground are allowed for organising sports events and practice without spectators.

All social, political, entertainment, cultural, religious functions, gatherings or congregations are banned. Religious places or places of worship will remain closed for public.

Offices of the state government, its autonomous bodies, corporations can function outside containment zones.

Courts and offices related to judicial work shall operate as per the guidelines issued by the Karnataka High Court.

All other offices shall encourage their staff to work from home.

Agriculture and related activities are allowed outside containment zone.

Facilities in the supply chain of essential goods will be allowed to operate as per Covid norms.

Only essential staff of IT and IT-enabled services companies will be allowed to work from office while remaining employees will work from home.

All industries and production units, except those related to garments manufacturing, are permitted to operate as per Covid appropriate behaviour.

Construction activities will be allowed to operate outside containment zones.

Marriages are permitted with only 50 people. Cremations or funerals are also allowed to have five people.