After the conclusion of the state Cabinet meeting on Monday, May 18, the Puducherry government announced revised guidelines for the fourth phase of the lockdown in the state till May 31. This comes a day after the Centre announced the extension of the nationwide lockdown. As per the fresh guidelines, all the commercial establishments, shops, and industries in the Union Territory will be open from 7 am to 7 pm. This includes liquor shops as well. But, shopping malls and theatres shall remain closed. Moreover, public transport will resume functioning from May 19, while following social distancing norms.
As per the guidelines issued by Central Govt, Puducherry Govt has decided to extend the lockdown till May 31 to contain the spread of COVID-19: Chief Minister V Narayanaswamy https://t.co/iqhUCpLHCY— ANI (@ANI) May 18, 2020
Currently, there are 13 confirmed novel coronavirus cases in Puducherry out of which 9 patients have recovered while one death has been reported. On May 17, Puducherry CM V Narayanasamy opined that the Centre's financial package worth Rs.20 lakh crore was nothing new, but a reflection of the 2020-21 budget. At the same time, he welcomed the allocation of Rs.40,000 crore to the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee scheme, saying that it would benefit the people living in rural areas. Furthermore, he appreciated the Centre's decision to increase the borrowing limits of state governments from 3% to 5% in 2020-21.
In the new guidelines released by the MHA on May 17, no distinction has been made in the permitted activities as far as the Red, Orange, and Green zones are concerned. Though, only essential activities will be allowed in the containment zones. The state governments and Union Territories have been empowered to decide the demarcation of the three zones. All domestic and international air travel of passengers except medical and security purposes, Metro rail services, all educational institutions, hotels, restaurants, and other hospitality services except for those housing frontline workers, cinema halls, swimming pools, shopping malls, gyms, entertainment parks, theatres, bars and auditoriums shall remain closed.
Also, no gatherings shall be permitted and the movement of individuals shall remain strictly prohibited between 7 pm and 7 am except for essential activities. On the other hand, distance education, running of canteens at bus depots, railway stations, and airports, home delivery of food items by restaurants, and the opening of sports complexes and stadiums have been allowed. All other activities which are not specifically prohibited such as shops, offices, businesses, etc. are also permitted to operate. However, the states/UTs have been given the power to prohibit restrictions in various zones as deemed necessary.