KARACHI: The provincial governments of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Sindh and Punjab announced Monday that marriage halls in the provinces will be reopened from September 15, as cases of the virus continue to decline across the country and normal business activities resume.
The Sindh government’s home department — upon directives of the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) — issued a notification to announce that the ban on marriage halls has been lifted.
The notification said that wedding events at marriage halls can take place from September 15. However, COVID-19 precautionary measures such as wearing face masks and social distancing will have to be observed inside the halls to ensure the virus does not spread.
The provincial government also issued revised timings for business activities — from 6am-8pm — while shops have been allowed to remain open till 9pm on Saturday nights.
Medical stores and shops selling items of necessary use will not be subject to the above timings.
The above measures are applicable throughout Sindh till October 15.
The Punjab government also issued a notification in which it called on marriage halls to follow SOPs strictly to ensure the infection does not spread during wedding functions.
In a notification, the Punjab government announced that educational institutions and marriage halls will be reopened across the province from September 15.
Secretary Primary and Secondary Healthcare Department Mohammad Usman said that posters discouraging shaking hands, hugging and sharing mobile phones inside wedding halls should be put up.
Wedding halls will be allowed to host only 50% of their capacity, according to the secretary, so that social distancing can be observed.
Usman called on masses to use face masks, hand sanitizers and gloves for their protection.
KP to reopen marriage halls from September 15 as well
Another notification released by the KP government said that marriage halls across the province will be reopened from September 15. The halls will reopen with COVID-19 precautions in place, such as staff members will be tested for the virus before the halls are opened for events.
Managements of wedding halls have been instructed to ensure that crowds do not build up at the entry and exit gates of the marriage halls and temperatures of those attending the events are checked via thermal guns. Sanitizers will be provided to guests at entry points of the halls.
The notification has called upon wedding halls’ managements to ensure people will be seated inside the halls at a safe distance from each other and the staff will be reduced by 50%. Different marriage events will be be allowed to be held at the same hall after a minimum two-hour interval during which the marriage hall will be sanitized.
The KP government has issued directives that no wedding event post 10pm will be allowed to take place inside the halls.