Coronavirus lockdown | Grocers, fuel pumps in Tamil Nadu to be open from 6 am to 2.30 pm from March 29

Medical shops and restaurants (only takeaway) would continue to function through the day; app-based food delivery allowed in three time slots.

Updated - March 28, 2020 11:10 am IST

Published - March 27, 2020 08:37 pm IST - Chennai

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami chairs a meeting with Ministres and senior officers to review the coronavirus situation, in Chennai. File

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami chairs a meeting with Ministres and senior officers to review the coronavirus situation, in Chennai. File

From March 29, provisional stores, vegetable and fruit shops and petrol/diesel pumps in Tamil Nadu would be allowed to function only between 6 am and 2.30 pm during the COVID-19 lockdown period. However, “medical shops and restaurants (only takeaway) would continue to function through the day”, an official release said.

The State also permitted app-based food delivery operators Swiggy and Zomato to operate between 7 am and 9.30 am for breakfast; 12 noon and 2.30 pm for lunch; and 6 pm and 9 pm taking into account that elderly persons and others were in need of such service.

Also read: India coronavirus lockdown, day 3 live updates | March 27, 2020

Explaining the rationale behind the latest restrictions, a senior official told The Hindu : “Without any time restrictions, people were out to get their essentials and shops had to remain open through the day when we have to fight the spread of COVID-19. Now, with specific timings, we can monitor people’s movements effectively.”

Specially-designated petrol/diesel pumps would, however, continue to function for the benefit of 108 ambulances and government vehicles.

Those involved in the food delivery must get required ID cards through their employers, who must check their health conditions on a daily basis, the release stated.

The government advised against distribution of cooked food to destitutes by volunteers. Instead dry rations could be supplied to help desks in the offices of Chennai Corporation Commissioner and all District Collectors.

Vehicles carrying supplies from other States must unload them in wholesale markets between 6 pm and 6 am and the places disinfected.

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