All commercial activities banned from 6 p.m. to sehri daily; interprovincial public transport banned for two days every week
The Punjab government on Tuesday issued revised guidelines to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus amidst the ongoing third wave of the pandemic, placing further restrictions on various sectors in cities with high positivity ratios.
A notification issued by the Punjab Primary and Secondary Healthcare Department said the new measures were being implemented under Sections 4(c), 5(I)(f) of The Punjab Infectious Diseases (Prevention and Control) Act 2020. They would remain in place until May 17, it said, adding that district administration and police would work in close liaison to ensure its strict implementation.
Under the new guidelines, there is a complete ban on all commercial activities from 6 p.m. to sehr, with an exemption for essential services, such as petrol pumps, medical stores and vaccination centers.
Similarly, it emphasized that Saturdays and Sundays would be observed as “closed days” (Fridays and Saturdays in 30 notified districts) during which all activities would be banned and establishments shuttered.
The remaining restrictions are as follows:
- Complete ban on indoor weddings throughout the province, with all types of event halls and marquees to remain shuttered. Outdoor weddings also banned in cities with positivity over 8 percent, i.e. Bahawalpur, Bhakkar, Dera Ghazi Khan, Faisalabad, Gujranwala, Hjang, Kasur, Khanewal, Lahore, Multan, Mandi Bahauddin, Narowal, Okara, Rawalpindi, Rahim Yar Khan, Sialkot, Sargodha, Sahiwal, Sheikhupura, and Vehari.
- Complete ban on indoor and outdoor dining at all restaurants across the province, with allowance for takeaway and delivery services
- Total closure of amusement parks throughout the province. However, walking/jogging tracks can remain operational with SOPs
- Mandatory face masks in public spaces throughout the province
- Mandatory 50 percent staff attendance in all public and private offices, with operational hours restricted to 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
- All cinemas and gyms to remain closed throughout the province
- All shrines and mazaars to remain closed in cities with positivity over 8 percent
- Complete ban on all types of indoor and outdoor gatherings throughout Punjab
- Complete ban on all types of sports, cultural, social and other events throughout the province
- Intercity public transport to operate at 50 percent capacity, except for rail service, which shall operate at 70 percent capacity. There would be a complete ban on interprovincial public transport every Saturday and Sunday, with an exemption for goods/freight, medical and other emergency services
Separately, the Interior Ministry—in light of NCOC recommendations—issued a notification imposing a complete ban on tourism from May 8-16, including holidays for Eidul Fitr, adding that this would apply to tourist resorts, public parks and hotels around tourist spots. It also announced the following decisions:
- Timely issuance of SOPs for itekaf, shab-e-qadar, jumma-tul-wada, and Eid prayers
- Ban in interprovincial and intercity transport during Eid holidays, with an exemption for residents of Gilgit-Baltistan to return to their homes
- Closure of travel nodes to major tourist spots, with a focus on Murree, Galiyat, Swat, Sea View, beaches, and northern areas
- Uninterrupted electricity supply during Eid holidays