In a big relief to the hospitality industry, the Gujarat government on Wednesday partially lifted restrictions imposed in view of the second wave of Covid-19 pandemic and allowed dine-in. Religious places, gymnasiums, gardens and libraries also will be allowed to reopen.
In a new notification, which will become applicable from June 11 and will remain in place till June 26, the government has allowed restaurants and hotels to remain open from 9 am to 7 pm. However, the operations have to be carried out with a maximum of 50 per cent seating capacity. At present, dine-in is not permitted.
The government also allowed take-aways from restaurants and hotels to continue till 9 pm, while home deliveries will be permitted till midnight. Currently, home deliveries are permitted only till 10 pm.
All other shops and business establishments including salons, market yards, roadside kiosks and beauty parlours can operate between 9 am and 7 pm. This is an extension of one hour in the working hours. Currently, these businesses have to shut shop by 6 pm.
Gymnasiums have been allowed to reopen with 50 per cent strength. Similarly, libraries, too, can reopen with 50 per cent seating capacity. Gardens and parks can also remain open from 6 am to 7 pm. All religious places have been opened for public, but restrictions of 50 persons will have to be be maintained. Gymnasiums, libraries, gardens and parks and places of worship have been closed since April 2021.
The government has also allowed examinations for students preparing for IELTS and TOEFL to be conducted with SOPs. Political, social, religious and cultural programmes are also allowed with an attendance of 50 persons. The government has permitted all city and state buses to operate with 60 per cent passenger occupancy. Earlier, the capacity allowed was 50 per cent.
However, there is no relaxation in the night curfew in 36 towns of Gujarat, which will continue from 9 pm to 6 am. Weekly markets, educational institutions, coaching centres (except online education), educational events, cinema halls and multiplexes, assembly halls and auditoriums, water parks, amusement parks, swimming pools will all continue to remain closed.
On Wednesday, only 644 new Covid-19 cases were reported, significantly less than 14,500 daily cases reported in the state in April this year.