The COVID-19 lockdown in Himachal Pradesh has been extended till June 30 with more relaxations such as opening of religious places, hotels and plying of inter-state buses services, according to a government notification issued on Sunday. The district magistrates of Hamirpur and Solan already issued orders on May 25 extending the curfew in their areas up to June 30.
Relaxation in curfew has been extended and it would be from 6 am to 8 pm, Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur said on Sunday during a video conferencing with deputy commissioners, superintendents of police and chief medical officers . In a five-page notification, Chief Secretary Anil Khachi said the lockdown has been extended with more relaxations on the directions of National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) and the chairperson of national executive committee (NEC).
Religious places and shrines will be open for locals of Himachal Pradesh following necessary standard operating procedures, the notification stated. Hotels will be opened for use of guests for non-tourism purposes such as housing of people visiting the state for official, business purposes only, it said.
The chief secretary stated the natives of Himachal Pradesh can stay in hotels but tourists from other states would not be entertained till further orders. Similarly, restaurants and dhabas can serve food by operating at 60 per cent of their seating capacity and in accordance with SOPs to be issued by department of tourism, he said, adding HRTC and private buses will be allowed to operate with maximum 60 per cent capacity.
However, movement of people will remain strictly prohibited from 8 pm to 6 am throughout the state, the chief secretary stated in the notification. Meanwhile, director of higher education Amarjeet Kumar Sharma said vacation in state-run schools has been extended up to June 15.
Chief Minister Thakur said over 1.60 lakh natives of Himachal Pradesh stranded in various parts of the country have reached the state. Inter-district movement of the people would be allowed without any pass. But permits would be required for inter-state movement, he said, adding people coming from other parts of the country would be quarantined. Those coming from red zones will be institutionally quarantine and others home quarantined, the chief minister added.