Religious places continue to remain shut in J&K

Jammu: The Jammu and Kashmir administration announced that religious places would continue to remain closed in the Union Territory as it allowed certain activities, including reopening of malls, barber shops, hotels and restaurants with new guidelines from Monday.

The administration on Sunday also exempted private transport from the purview of the coronavirus-triggered lockdown outside containment zones but decided against allowing inter-state and inter-province movement without passes.

Earlier during the day, the administration issued a fresh classification of the districts on the eve of implementation of the lockdown relaxations in the country effective till June 30.

While eight districts in Kashmir and one in Jammu were placed under red zone indicating no change in the lockdown restrictions till this month end, nine districts — seven in Jammu province and two in Kashmir — were covered under orange zone and two other districts, both in Jammu region, in green zone.

Shops and business establishments reopened in orange and green zones, mostly in Jammu region, on May 20, while the government and private offices also started functioning across the UT.

In an order issued here this evening, Chief Secretary B V R Subrahmanyam came out with new guidelines and instructions for regulating activities within the Union Territory for effective containment of COVID-19 with effect from June 8 till further orders.

“All the standard operating procedures (SOPs) and instructions issued earlier and referred to will be deemed to have been extended till the validity of this order, or modified otherwise. Any deviation from this order shall attract penal action under the disaster management Act, 2005,” Subrahmanyam, who is also the chairperson of the State Executive Committee, said.

According to the new guidelines, all religious places across the Union Territory, which were closed nearly a week ahead of the nationwide lockdown, would continue to remain closed till further orders.

However, malls, barber shops, salons and parlours have been asked to open in the entire Jammu and Kashmir (subject to an SOP to be issued on Monday), while restaurants will function only for home delivery and take-away and hotels allowed to operate with 50 per cent capacity, the order said.

With regard to public and private transport, the order said mini buses and buses can operate at 50 per cent and 67 per cent capacity, respectively in orange and green zones (only on notified routes), while only State Road Transport Corporation (SRTC) buses can operate in red zone.

It said no inter-state and inter-province movement would be allowed except for those having valid passes issued by the competent authorities.

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