The Tamil Nadu government has announced that the lockdown imposed in the state will be extended till June 14 with some relaxations. Vegetable, grocery and meat shops, which have been shut since May 24, will be allowed to function from June 7 between 6 am to 5 pm in all districts. However, 11 districts in Tamil Nadu, which continue to see high caseloads will continue to see the intensive lockdown enforced. The 11 districts are Coimbatore, Nilgiris, Tiruppur, Erode, Salem, Karur, Namakkal, Thanjavur, Thiruvarur, Nagapattinam and Mayiladuthurai.
The government has also announced that the matchbox industry can function with 50% workforce across the state. The extension of the lockdown was decided after a high-level meeting between Chief Minister MK Stalin and officials on June 4.
The relaxations for districts other than the 11 districts include:
> Standalone departmental stores, vegetables, meat, fish shops can be kept open from 6am to 5pm
> Flowers and fruit street vendors can sell from 6am to 5pm
>Slaughterhouses can be opened only for wholesale
>Government offices can function with 30% workforce
> Registration offices are permitted to function with 50 tokens every day
> Housekeeping services are permitted with e-registration
> Electricians, plumbers, computer service and motor technicians can function from 6 am to 5 pm with e-registration
> Shops selling electrical goods can function between 6 am and 5 pm
> Mechanic shops for repairing two-wheelers and cycles (apart from showrooms) can function from 6 am to 5 pm
> Hardware shops can function from 6 am to 5 pm
> Stationary shops are permitted to function from 6 am to 5 pm
> Rental vehicles, taxis and autos can function with e-registration
The relaxations for the 11 districts are:
>Standalone departmental stores, vegetables, meat,fish shops can be kept open from 6am to 5pm
>Vegetable, flower and fruit street vendors permitted to sell from 6am -5pm
> Fish markets, slaughterhouses can be kept open only for wholesale
>Government offices can function with 30% of the employees
>Matchbox industries can function with 50% staff
Curbs on inter-district travel continue, with registration mandatory for road, air and rail travel. Travellers will be permitted to travel only in the event of medical emergencies or funerals and will have to register with the required documents.
The intense lockdown in Tamil Nadu, which came into effect on May 24, saw all grocery and vegetable shops closed. The government allowed the sale of vegetables on pushcarts and later grocery stores were allowed to deliver provisions at home. Restaurants have been shut for dining, with only take-away or deliveries permitted. Under the intense lockdown, taxis and autorickshaws were not allowed to ply except in the event of emergencies.
Tamil Nadu has seen a significant decrease in its caseload in the past few weeks. From reporting almost 36,000 cases per day previously, the number came down to 22,651 cases on June 3. However, districts like Coimbatore, Chennai, Trichy, Erode, Tirupur and Salem are still recording more than 1,000 cases per day.
Tamil Nadu has now set up a committee to look into the stateâ€™s preparedness for a third wave of coronavirus infections. Tamil Nadu went into lockdown on May 8 first. This was further extended till June 7.
The Union government had announced on June 1 that districts should open up only if the test positivity rate is below 5% for at least a week. The government has also recommended that a minimum of 70% of the vulnerable population â€” persons above the age of 60 and those above 45 years with comorbidities â€” are vaccinated.