Strict in Kerala: No buses, liquor shops; shutdown on Sunday

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THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: A day after the Centre relaxed some of the restrictions imposed as part of the lockdown, the Kerala government on Saturday adopted a tougher stance and decided to persist with many regulations. While the Centre allowed bus transport and reopening of liquor outlets and barbershops in orange and green zones, the state decided against any such concessions. The state also brought in tougher restrictions in the form of a total shutdown across the state on Sundays.

Besides prohibiting opening of shops and offices, the state government also banned vehicular movement, except those on emergency duty, on Sundays. The state government also included Wayanad, classified as green zone by the Centre, among its orange zone districts after a Covid-19 positive case was reported there on Saturday.

However, the state decided to add two more districts – Alappuzha and Thrissur – to the green zone category, along with Ernakulam. Briefing reporters after the daily Covid-19 assessment meeting, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said Alappuzha and Thrissur were included in green zone as no Covid-19 positive cases were reported from the district for the past 21 days.

“The changes have been affected in accordance with the Centre’s guidelines,” Pinarayi said. He said liquor outlets and barber shops will remain closed across the state. When asked if the decison to keep liquor outlets closed was applicable till May 17, the Chief Minister said: “No need to worry. It’s only temporary”. “Kannur and Kottayam, the districts that the Centre placed in red zone, will continue in the category,” he said.

The districts in orange zone are: Wayanad, Kasaragod, Idukki, Kozhikode, Kollam, Palakkad, Pathanamthitta, Malappuaram and Thiruvananthapuram. “The situation in each district will be assessed periodically and changes, if any, will be made accordingly,” said Pinarayi.

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