Pakistan announces five-day Eid break, issues guidelines to encourage citizens to stay at home from May 8-16 to curb spread of coronavirus
The National Command and Operation Center (NCOC) on Thursday issued guidelines for Eidul Fitr under a “Stay Home, Stay Home” strategy in a bid to discourage citizens from leaving their homes and curbing the spread of the novel coronavirus.
Noting that the current surge of the pandemic required “effective measures to arrest its further spread with special emphasis on reducing mobility during forthcoming Eidul Fitr,” the NCOC urged all citizens to “stay home, stay safe” from May 8-16. It said the new guidelines would supplement, and not transplant, the guidelines already notified earlier this month.
According to the “Stay Home, Stay Safe” guidelines:
- Eidul Fitr holidays would commence on May 10 and conclude on May 15 with a clear intent to reduce national mobility
- All markets and shops would remain closed except for grocery stories, pharmacies, vaccination centers, grocery and dairy shops, petrol pumps, food takeaways and e-commerce; and media and utility services
- Ban on special Eid bazaars, including mehndi, jewelry, and clothing stalls
- Ban on tourism for both locals and outsiders, with all tourist resorts, picnic spots, public parks, shopping malls, hotels and restaurants in those areas to remain closed
- Travel nodes to tourist spots to be closed, with a focus on Murree, Galyat, Swat, Sea View/beaches, and other northern areas. Residents of Gilgit-Baltistan and Pakistan-administered Kashmir would be allowed to return home
- Ban on interprovincial, intercity, and intracity public transport, with an exemption for private vehicles, taxis, and rickshaws with a maximum of 50 percent occupancy
- Additional trains to be operated till May 7, after which normal operations would resume with 70 percent occupancy and stringent enforcement of SOPs
- Media should apprise the public to stay home and broadcast special packages intended to do the same. The NCOC claims uninterrupted electricity supply would be ensured during Eid holidays