Tamil Nadu government has extended the lockdown till May 31 in order to contain the spread of COVID-19 in the State. However, barring 12 districts, the government has announced new relaxations for 25 other districts that have recorded fewer cases of Coronavirus in the last few days. In a statement, Mr. Palaniswami said that the decision to extend the lockdown was taken after inputs from District Collectors, public health and medical experts, and senior officers in the State government.
The existing lockdown restrictions will continue for 12 districts, which have a high number of Coronavirus cases in the state. This includes Chennai, Kancheepuram, Thiruvallur, Chengalpattu, Villupuram, Cuddalore, Ranipet, Thirupattur, Kallakurichi, Thiruvannamalai, Ariyalur and Perambalur.
Though he announced that intra-district e-passes, which were necessary, were discontinued in 25 districts, the government would continue with inter-district e-passes. The 25 districts where intra-district e-passes were not necessary for movement are Coimbatore, Salem, Erode, Tiruppur, Namakkal, Karur, Tirunelveli, Thoothukudi, Tenkasi, Kanyakumari, Theni, Madurai, Sivaganga, Virudhunagar, Ramanathapuram, Dindigul, Pudukkottai, Tiruchi, Tiruvarur, Thanjavur, Nagapattinam, Dharmapuri, Krishnagiri, Vellore, and the Nilgiris.
Special buses operated by the government or private companies to ferry employees can only accommodate 20 people at a time. With respect to other vehicles, only 7 people are allowed to travel in a van, 3 people in an Innova car, and apart from the driver, only 2 people can travel in a small car. The hiring of taxi and cabs will only be allowed for essential, emergency, and agricultural-related services. Tamil Nadu government has advised the general public not to use these exemptions for non-essential services.
Also, Mr. Palaniswami has also allowed the evaluation of the Class 12 board exams.
Fifty percent of government employees start their work from today.
Other existing lockdown rules to continue across Tamil Nadu
Schools, colleges, coaching centers, and all educational institutions will remain shut. No train or air passenger services will be allowed. Only special trains and flights meant for transporting stranded people by the Central government after seeking the permission of state government will be allowed. Temples, mosques, churches, and all other places of religious worship will remain closed until May 31st. Theatres, liquor bars, gyms, tourist destinations, museums, public swimming pools, stadiums, and public meeting halls will remain shut till the lockdown ends.
No permission will be granted for any kind of public event including religious, political, and cultural programs, processions, and other events by the police and concerned authorities. Taxi, auto, cycle rickshaws, metro rail, local electric trains will not be allowed to operate during lockdown 4.0. Hotels, resorts, and lodges will remain closed, except for those accommodating COVID-19 frontline workers. The existing restrictions will continue for people participating in funerals and marriages across the state.
Tourist and summer holiday destinations like Nilgiris, Kodaikanal, and Yercaud will be out of bounds for the general public and strict instructions have been given to the concerned district authorities not to allow outsiders. No change in containment zones and existing restrictions will continue till the lockdown period ends.