Sindh eases coronavirus lockdown, business to now open five days a week

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KARACHI: The government of Sindh on Monday eased the lockdown imposed to curb the coronavirus pandemic, allowing businesses to resume activities five days a week — barred Saturdays and Sundays — from 6am-7pm.

A notification issued from Sindh Home Department said: “Business timings except pharmacies and essential services — Five days per week (Monday-Friday) from Morning to Maghreb (6:00 am to 7:00 pm).”

However, the provincial government, despite easing the lockdown, has decided to prohibit 10 sectors from resuming their activities; these are as follows:

  • Educational/Training institutes
  • Marriage Hall, Business Centres, Expo Halls
  • All contact sport, indoor Sports Club, indoor Gyms and Sports facilities
  • Sporting tournament, indoor and outdoor
  • Restaurants, cafes excluding takeaway& Home delivery
  • Theme, Amusement Park and Arcades
  • Beauty Parlors and Spas
  • Cinemas and Theatres
  • Public Processions/Gathering of all Nature/Shrines
  • Tourism/Tourist Hotels

The order has come into effect and would remain valid till June 30, 2020.

The move to reopen businesses in the province is part of Sindh’s adherence to the Supreme Court’s directive to formulate a uniform policy with regard to the coronavirus lockdown.

On the other hand, the Sindh government emphasised that “public transport shall be opened after [a] due meeting of transporters with Minister Transport scheduled for tomorrow”.

Reminding the people to ensure standard operation procedures (SOPs) were followed, the notification added:

  • Wearing of face mask for coming at any public place.
  • Keeping a distance of over 3 feet between persons at all times.
  • Frequent hand washing or use of proper hand sanitiser.
  • Adherence to distancing protocols while travelling by any transport
  • Strict adherence to SOPs at offices/workplaces etc.

Balochistan extends lockdown for 15 days

On the other hand, the Balochistan government decided to extend its “smart lockdown” for another 15 days to mitigate the spread of the virus.

Business timings in the province would be from 9am-7pm, while it has been declared mandatory for masses to wear masks.

Transport shall remain suspended, while educational institutions were to remain closed in the light of the federal government’s decision.

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