Pakistan issues new COVID restrictions for Ramadan

Saturday and Sundays will be closed days with markets remaining shut

The National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) issued broader SOPs for dealing with the third wave of novel coronavirus during the holy month of Ramadan. NCOC has made it clear that the SOPs will need to be followed strictly, otherwise harsher actions may be taken.

Lockdowns

Saturdays and Sundays will be closed days at the national level to control the spread of the virus. In case of the spread of the virus in certain areas, broader lockdowns will be put in place, only allowing people to leave the area for emergencies only. Markets will be allowed to stay open between Sehri and 6 PM.

Ban on indoor, outdoor activities

According to an NCOC notification, all indoor and outdoor activities will be banned. These activities include social, cultural, political, sports, and other miscellaneous events. “Outdoor dining will be allowed from iftar till midnight, example 11:59 pm, with strict SOPs, while takeaways will be allowed,” the notification read. Cinemas and shrines along with amusement parks will remain closed as usual.

Restricted inter-provincial transport

NCOC announced a two-day ban on inter-provincial transport every week. Transport will not be allowed Saturdays and Sundays. This will remain enforced until midnight April 25-26. The ban will be reviewed on April 20 and may be extended.

Taraweeh

For taraweeh prayers, the SOPs require them to be held in public and with considerable distance between people. NCOC wants help from the civil administration at engage with ulemas and ensure that the SOPs are followed

Work from home directives

NCOC also announced to continue with the 50% work from home policy for all public and private offices, where intercity public transport is to operate at 50% of capacity.

Strict protocols for tourism were also put in place for KP, Gilgit-Baltistan, Azad Jammu Kashmir, and other tourist destinations.

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