The Sindh government has lifted the coronavirus lockdown restrictions imposed throughout the province, the announcement was made in an official notification issued on Monday.
Senator Murtaza Wahab, advisor to Chief Minister Sindh, in a tweet said, “The lockdown may have been lifted but the people still have to exercise caution & restraint. We still have to follow social distancing, wear masks at all times & isolate ourselves in case we have any symptoms of #COVID19. Let us not risk ourselves or our near and dear ones”.
However, the educational institutions, marriage halls, businesses, and expo centers in the province will be allowed to reopen from September 15.
The Sindh home department in a notification said that the businesses have been allowed to reopen subject to “strict adherence” of SOPs in view of the decline in Covid-19 cases in the country, but acknowledged that “the disease is still prevalent and likely to increase if no adequate precautions are taken”.
Businesses will be bound to maintain a distance of more than three feet between customers, staff, or visitors and deny entry to persons showing Covid-19 symptoms or those not wearing a mask.
The activities/businesses allowed to resume from August 10 include:
- Hotels, restaurants, and cafes
- Parks and grounds
- Cinemas and theatres
- Non-contact sports, sports clubs, and gyms
- Sports tournaments (indoor and outdoor) without the audience
- Beauty parlours and spas
- Shrines (for permitted gatherings)
- Public transport with SOPs
According to the order, which will remain in effect until Sept 15, businesses in Sindh will be allowed to open six days a week, with an off on either Friday or Sunday except for pharmacies and essential services. Their timings will be from 6 am to 8 pm except on Saturday when they will remain open until 9 pm.
Under new orders, the businesses will be required to allow only around one-third of their normal capacity of visitors/customers inside their establishments at a time to ensure social distancing.
Restaurants and cafes will be allowed to operate all days of the week but with limited dine-in services until 10 pm daily except on Saturday when they can stay open until 11 pm.
- The last order must be taken an hour before closing.
- Customers must be seated with a distance of over three feet between them.
- The takeaway will be allowed from morning until 10 pm on all days of the week except Saturday when it will be permitted until 11 pm.
- Home delivery of food will be allowed from morning until midnight (12 am).
No procession or gathering will be allowed which has not been given permission for in advance including during religious festivals and national holidays, according to the new order.
“The provincial government/district administration, by order, may restrict all/any activity/area which is identified as [a] hotspot/high risk for the spread of Covid-19,” the order stated.
The public has been urged to avoid all places with the potential of crowding and “where absolutely essential to attend”, wear a face mask, and strictly observe hand hygiene and social distancing protocols.