Karnataka eases lockdown 2.0 restrictions starting today

Ghughuti Bulletin


BENGALURU: After days of dilly-dallying, the Karnataka government said it would ease lockdown 2.0 from Thursday, allowing a range of services — from private clinics and veterinary centres to home repairs involving carpenters, plumbers, electricians and mechanics.

The government order issued on Wednesday said the relaxations will not apply to Covid-19 hotspots and containment zones in the state. Educational institutions remain shut and non-essential travel barred everywhere.

Sub-registrar offices will be opened in 11districts. While mass gatherings are banned, funerals will be allowed with a limit of 20 people attending.

State chief secretary TM Vijay Bhaskar said IT & ITeS firms will be allowed to function with minimum essential staff. “The government has left it to the companies to decide their minimum staff requirement and discuss it with the IT-BT department before resuming work. We will allow only critical staff, who are identified and issued passes, to function. The others will continue to work from home,” he said.

Plumbers, electricians and other self-employed workers will also need police passes to resume work. The modalities for resumption in various sectors will be worked out in the coming days.

Govt hopes for revival of economy
The relaxation is primarily to revive the economy step by step. While there will be challenges, the government is geared up to meet them,” deputy CM CN Ashwath Narayan, who holds the IT-BT portfolio, said.

The order specifies that companies should encourage employees with children up to five years old and elderly (65 years and above) at home to work from their residence. “We would encourage IT-BT companies to use the services of contract carriages to ferry their employees or continue with workfrom-home option,” said another senior official.

“The self-employed who live on a daily income, such as carpenters, electricians, motor mechanics and plumbers, will be allowed to work, wearing masks and maintaining social distancing,” he said. All private and veterinary clinics can also reopen. Hotels, homestays, lodges and motels can function to accommodate those stranded in the lockdown.

Among other activities allowed to resume are: hotels for parcel services, agriculture producers marketing committee yards, production of cement, steel, tiles and bricks. While interdistrict and inter-state travel continue to be suspended, dhabas have been allowed to function on highways at a distance of 20km from each other, primarily to ensure food for truckers.

Other sectors in the ambit of relaxation are: courier services, food processing industries and cold storage and warehousing services, container depots.

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