In view of the extended lockdown to be enforced in Tamil Nadu for a week starting May 24, the state government has announced that all shops will be allowed to function on May 22 and 23. There is usually a full lockdown including for shops selling vegetables and groceries on Sundays in Tamil Nadu owing to the COVID-19 situation.
Since the lockdown with more restrictions has been announced in Tamil Nadu from May 24 until May 31, Chief Minister MK Stalin announced that all shops will be allowed to function till 9 pm on May 22 (Saturday) and from 6 am to 9 pm on May 23 (Sunday). Starting Monday, all shops except those specifically mentioned are not allowed to function. Vegetables and fruits will be available for purchase on vehicles under the auspices of the state horticulture department, as per the latest release.
On Saturday, Chief Minister Stalin conducted meetings with an Expert panel of public health experts and doctors followed by a meeting with the all-party representatives group regarding the COVID-19 situation. The meeting came days before May 24, when the lockdown currently in force was scheduled to end. In the meeting, discussions were held on the COVID-19 situation, cases and the steps to be taken to bring the pandemic under control in the state. While the expert panel recommended a two-week long extension of the lockdown, the MLAs group also encouraged the same. Following this, the state government announced that a stricter lockdown will be in place for a week from May 24.
As of May 22, shops selling essential items like vegetables, provisions in Tamil Nadu are allowed to function only between 6 am and 10 am from Monday to Saturday. On Sundays, the state government has been enforcing a full lockdown in which all shops including those selling vegetables, fruits, provisions and meat are shut down.
On Friday, Tamil Nadu reported 36,184 new COVID-19 cases and 467 deaths. Districts like Chennai, Coimbatore, Madurai, Kancheepuram, Kanyakumari, Tirupur and Thiruvallur reported over 1,000 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday. The state had tested 1,74,112 samples on Friday. The number of persons undergoing treatment for COVID-19 as of Friday evening in Tamil Nadu is 2,74,629.