Saturday, July 31, 2021
North East

Meghalaya further lifts COVID restrictions with drop in cases


Shilling, February 2: The Meghalaya government allowed on Tuesday religious places to be filled up to 75% of the capacity, partial reopening of lower primary schools and lifting of odd-even number system for public transport services following a slide in the coronavirus cases.

Curbs at tourist spots across the state due to the virus have also been lifted, and minors and senior citizens are also allowed entry there.
Chief Minister Conrad Sangma chaired the COVID-19 review meeting, which was attended by his deputy Prestone Tynsong, Health Minister A L Hek and government officials.
Announcing the relaxation of coronavirus restrictions, Tynsong said: “We have decided to allow attendance of 75% instead of one-third of the total membership strength of each worshipping/religious places.”
Activities of religious groups, such as meetings and conferences, are also eased from one-third capacity to 75% capacity of the total strength, Tynsong said.
He added that similar relaxation was also extended to sports activities, meetings/functions held at the village/locality level, private functions like weddings and family get-together, funeral and others.
The government has also decided to allow reopening of all tourist spots, hostels and creches.
Picturesque Meghalaya has a lot of popular tourist destinations in Shillong and elsewhere, drawing people from different parts of the country and also abroad.
“Restrictions on tourist spots have been lifted with immediate effect. We have also decided to allow children below the age of 10 years and senior citizens to visit tourist spots in different parts of the state,” he said.
The deputy chief minister also informed that all restrictions, including the odd and even number rules, imposed on public transport services had been withdrawn
“With the lifting of the odd-even restriction, as well as the transport department’s decision to lift the seating capacity restriction, vehicle owners and drivers will now have to charge the old passenger fares as decided earlier,” Tynsong said.
The meeting also decided that the night curfew, which is being currently imposed from 11 pm to 5 am, will continue in the state till further order.
“We have decided to allow partial reopening of schools for classes 1 to 5. This would mean that the school authority can have only consultative classes with the students, but not on a regular basis and also be subjected to strict compliance with the SOPs issued by the government,” he said.
Other activities permitted by the state government also include fishing competition, fetes, youth weeks and various fund-raising activities.

Stating that such relaxations are subjected to compliance of the standard operating procedures issued by the Health Department, the deputy chief minister said: “SOPs will be in place till the COVID-19 vaccination drive is completed in the state.”
Tynsong said the decision to ease these restrictions was taken after seeing reduction in the trend of COVID-19 cases in the state. (PTI)