COVID-19 lockdown in Kerala: More relaxations from Thursday as places of worship open to admit devotees in a regulated manner

A day after the Kerala government decided to open temples in regions with test positivity rate under 16% with strict COVID-19 protocol, devotees began to arrive at temples. A scene in front of the Sree Poornathrayeesa Temple in Tripunithura in Ernakulam district.   | Photo Credit: Thulasi Kakkat

Places of worship in Kerala could admit devotees in a regulated manner from Thursday as the State government prepared to ease COVID-19 restrictions further.

Temples, mosques and churches could let in up to 15 worshippers at a given time as per the new template for the unlock process.

However, the management should ensure that they wear double masks and maintain physical distance. Those visiting mosques should take a prayer mat for personal use and rinse themselves only in running water.

The spectre of a third wave loomed as the government attempted to restore a semblance of normality in localities with low (average TPR less than 8%) and moderate (8% and 16%) test positivity rate from Thursday.

Officials said the regulations, however, would continue to be severe in high spread (TPR between 16% 24%) and critical spread (TPR above 24%) localities.

Functioning of banks

Banks could function on all days. But they could let in customers only on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

Government offices in low and moderate spread localities could function with less than 50% of the staff strength.

The government allowed indoor filming of television serials with a minimum number of artists and crew allowed at the location.

The government has allowed class for medical students to commence from July 1. It has ramped up the vaccination of those between 18 and 23 to expedite the opening of colleges.

It was weighing whether to open up tourist destinations for fully inoculated leisure seekers.

Liquor outlets

The government has shut down liquor shops in local bodies bordering Tamil Nadu. The police had flagged the inter-State movement of people to purchase liquor could upset lockdown regulations in both States.

The government has also said that those, including labourers entering Idukki from Tamil Nadu, must undergo antigen test. The State would shut down entirely on the weekend.

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had said the intensity of the second COVID-19 wave was on the wane. The number of new cases and disease transmission rates had plunged, and hospitalisations dwindled.

However, the threat of a third wave driven by new variants of the virus remained. In some localities, the TPR remained unrelentingly high, he said.

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Printable version | Jul 25, 2021 7:28:45 PM |

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