Punjab government ends lockdown, issue SOPs for tourism, religious gatherings

Wedding halls are the only exception that will remain shut for now

Punjab government is easing almost all lockdown restrictions across the province as life slowly returns to normalcy. SOPs will certainly be in place for gatherings and adherence to these guidelines will be ensured. To date, Punjab has reported about 95,000 positive coronavirus cases. The number of cases across the country has been on the lower side for about a month now with less than 1,000 new cases being reported every day.

The provincial health secretary said that all business other than marriage halls will be opened. Permissions will be required for religious gatherings and such events will take place under set SOPs.

“With the exception of wedding halls, all business centers have been opened from today,” the secretary said. “Religious gatherings will be subject to the permission of the concerned administration and implementation of standard operating procedures (SOPs).”

SOPs set for tourists

The government of Punjab has opened tourist spots in the province and immediately people have gone to places like the hill station Murree in large numbers. The government has issued SOPs based on 14 points for the tourists.

The SOPs include mandatory social distancing, wearing facemasks in public, and temperature checks at public places. Extra precautions have been advised at ticket counters, lavatories, and indoor recreational spots like museums. Food will also be served in disposable crockery to help avoid the spread of the virus.

Muharram processions

The government is also formulating plans for Muharram processions to ensure that the virus does not spread. SOPs will be in place for religious gatherings and it will be imperative that they are followed in order to avoid a spike in coronavirus cases. Minister for Religious Affairs Noorul Haq Qadri said that assistance being sought from Ulema for formulating comprehensive protocols and health guidelines for Muharram procession.

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