After Madras High Court suggested that Tamil Nadu and Puducherry governments should implement a complete two-day lockdown during the counting of votes, Puducherry administration has extended their lockdown till May 3. The counting of votes for the Assembly elections in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry is set to take place on May 2.
Lieutenant Governor Dr Tamilisai Soundararajan earlier imposed a lockdown from April 27 to April 30 to ramp up testing and curb the spread of coronavirus.
In an order on Tuesday, the Union Territory said, "The counting of votes casted during the General Election to the Puducherry Legislative Assembly is scheduled to be held on May 2. The Madras High Court had made certain suggestions in the wake of COVID-19 epidemic. Accordingly, the Order on April 26 imposing restrictions is extended upto 3 May 2021."
> People have been asked to remain indoors. However, the movement of candidates and counting agents to the counting hall will be unhindered.
> The candidates, staff and poll agents should undergo RT-PCR tests and submit negative certificates for working on counting day. The territorial administration has created a backup to deploy RAT in case RT-PCR testing poses any constraints.
> People on poll duty should strictly adhere to COVID-19 protocol during counting of votes.
> Shops providing essential services like provisional stores, vegetable shops, groceries, fruits, dairy and milk booths, meat and fish shops, animal fodder shops are allowed to function. However, shopping complexes and malls are not permitted to operate.
> Restaurants and eateries are only permitted to give take away or deliveries. The food in hotels and lodges should only be served in the rooms instead of dine in halls.
> All hospitals, labs, pharmacies and other medical services can function.
> Essential services like distribution of newspapers, ambulance services and medical allied activities are permitted.
> Farming, agricultural activities and transport of essential goods will be permitted.
> Public passenger transport (buses/auto/taxies) with restricted seating capacity is permitted. Cab aggregation services with three passengers and autos with two passengers excluding driver are allowed to operate.
> Temple rituals without the participation of the general public can be conducted by following SOPs.
> Marriage and related gathering are permitted to take place with a maximum of 50 guests.
> Funerals and last rites are allowed to be carried out with a maximum of 25 members.
> Industrial production/industries shall be permitted
> Banks, insurance offices, Telecommunication, internet, broadcasting and cable services, media, IT and IT enabled services, water supply, sanitation, electricity, cold storages and warehousing services, private security services, law and order, fire/election related services, courts are permitted to function.
> All E-Commerce activities shall be permitted
> Persons involved in government essential services can carry their works by producing ID cards.
> Air and rail passengers shall be allowed to travel on production of valid tickets.
> Health department will carry out aggressive testing in hotspots and ramp up RT PCR testing.
> Congregation of people in any form is prohibited.
> No victory celebration should be conducted. Not more than 2 persons shall be allowed to accompany the winning candidate while getting certificates from the Returning Officer concerned.
> Tea shops and eateries are not permitted to function.
> All religious places are ordered to be closed for worship. The rituals are permitted to be conducted only by the priests/employees of the respective religious place. Festivities and grand temple events remain prohibited.