Haryana extends lockdown till July 19, but allows slew of relaxations including for students

CHANDIGARH: The Haryana government on Sunday extended till July 19 the lockdown in the state to curb the spread of the coronavirus, but allowed a slew of relaxations, including for students.

According to an order issued by Chief Secretary Vijai Vardhan, in exercise of powers under the provisions of the Disaster Management Act, 2005, “the Mahamari Alert-Surakshit Haryana is extended for another week, that is from July 12 (5 am onwards) to July 19 (till 5 am) in the state of Haryana.”

Through the order the state government also allowed several relaxations.

Universities and colleges are allowed to open for students for doubt clearing classes, practical classes in laboratories, practical examinations and offline exams with strict adherence of requisite social distancing norms and other guidelines, the order stated.

Hostels in universities and colleges are allowed to open only for those students who are appearing in examinations, it said.

Gatherings in weddings, funerals, in open spaces have been increased while cinema halls and spas have been allowed to open.

The order stated that these gathering should be done by adopting requisite social distancing norms, regular sanitisation and Covid appropriate behavioural norms and following other government guidelines.

The vice chancellor of the National Law University, Delhi, is allowed to hold Common Law Admission Test (CLAT) on July 23 in the state, the order said.

Gatherings in weddings, funerals or cremations are allowed up to 100 persons from the earlier 50, subject to strict observance of COVID-19 appropriate behavioural norms and social distancing.

However, weddings can now take place at places other than courts and homes also, it said.

In open spaces, gatherings will be allowed up to 200 persons, the order said.

Spas are now allowed to open from 6 am to 8 pm with 50 per cent capacity after adopting requisite social distancing norms, regular sanitisation and Covid appropriate behavioural norms, it said.

Swimming pools are also allowed to open only for such athletes or swimmers who are competing or practicing for a competitive event, the order said.

Cinema halls in malls and standalone are allowed to open with a maximum 50 per cent seating capacity, it said.

Open training centres in Haryana established under the aegis of Haryana Skill Development Mission are also allowed to open by staggering of trainees for maintaining social distancing.

Coaching institutions, libraries and training institutes, whether government or private, are also allowed to open with strict adherence to requisite social distancing norms and other guidelines of the government, the order said.

Industrial Training Institutes are allowed to open for students for doubt clearing classes and practical classes, it said.

Earlier on July 9, the Haryana government had announced to reopen schools for Class 9 to Class 12 from July 16, saying students of these classes will be allowed to join schools with the permission of their parents.

Besides, students of Class 6 to Class 8 will also be able to come to schools with effect from July 23, a government statement had said.

However, it would not be mandatory for the students to come to school as online classes will continue.

Meanwhile, the lockdown relaxations, with respect to opening of shops, malls, restaurants, religious places, corporate offices, will continue as currently in place.

“Now, after duly considering the fact that although the Covid positivity rate and the number of new Covid positive cases have declined, so as to continue the preventive and precautionary measures to contain the Covid pandemic, the ‘Mahamari Alert-Surakshit Haryana’ is extended for another week,” according to the order.

The state government has termed the lockdown “Mahamari Alert-Surakshit Haryana (Epidemic Alert-Safe Haryana)”.

The number of daily COVID-19 cases have now come down to under 50 while the Covid fatalities have also registered a sharp fall.

The Haryana government had imposed the lockdown in the state on May 3 in view of the prevailing Covid situation.

It has now been extended for the tenth time.