The vehicular queues went up to over a kilometer at many places, as police checked passes and identity cards of travellers.
Similar scenes were witnessed at the Delhi-Gurugram
borders. The national capital also witnessed traffic jams near big office hubs after a long time.
Maharashtra, one of the worst hit states, said it was making no changes, and would take advantage of the Centre’s offer of relaxation later. In some states, however, the home ministry’s revised guidelines were implemented fully. State-run road transport
was resumed in Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala
(where inter-state and inter-district bus services remain suspended). In these states, shops, businesses and offices, including barber shops, were allowed to open. Karnataka
even allowed salons and spas to operate, but retained restrictions on movement of people from other states.
“We have decided to restrict the entry of people from Gujarat, Maharashtra, and Tamil Nadu
till May 31,” said Karnataka
CM B S Yediyurappa. Tamil Nadu
ordered limited relaxations — for transport, shops, and other establishments — but only in the districts where few or no Covid-19 cases had been reported.
Puducherry said it would open liquor shops from Tuesday. Normal life resumed in districts where no cases have been reported.
However, inter-state movement of buses continued to be a contentious issue, with states
turning cautious. While Andhra Pradesh
allowed inter-state transport, the Telangana CM K Chandrasekhar Rao
held back from allowing operation of inter-state buses in the light of the high rate of infections in the border states.
This service is unlikely in the near future. Shops and businesses were already allowed to function with due precautions in all towns. In Hyderabad, however, only stand-alone shops selling electrical items, stationery, sanitaryware, and building materials, besides liquor stores, were allowed to open.
Construction activity was already permitted in the city outside the containment zones.
Punjab, where the pandemic has hit hard leading to several areas in the state being declared containment zones, said inter-state transport
would be open, which means people from cities like Chandigarh will be allowed to travel to Punjab.
Shops can open between 7 am and 6 pm. Other bans will continue, including on shopping malls, hotels, etc.
Some of the most innovative conditions have been imposed by Kerala.
Liqour sales will be allowed from Wednesday, and till an online system is put in place, orders will be taken on phone from the shops run by the Kerala
State Beverages Corporation. Restaurants will be allowed to run takeaway counters till 9 pm, while food online delivery will be allowed till 10 pm. Bars and clubs can operate based on restrictions, but clubs should not have more than five people at a time, and can sell takeaway liquor and food.
Barbershops and beauty parlours can operate without air conditioning and can offer hair cutting, hair dressing, and shaving services.
Gujarat’s worst hit cities, Ahmedabad and Surat, will see shops and offices open on an odd-even basis, barring containment zones. CM Vijay Rupani said: “It is obvious that 55 days of lockdown
would have impacted the working class, including daily wagers, labourers, poor and middle class. Gujarat is a state of industry and trade and such activities can’t remain shut for very long.” While the inter-city public transport
buses are being permitted in the state, the same will not be permitted to enter Ahmedabad.
Surat-based textile and diamond industry can now heave a sigh of relief, with Rupani announcing resumption of activities in these industries at 50 per cent capacity.
has divided containment zones into three categories. After allowing public buses, taxis, and cab aggregators to resume operations, the state has also allowed auto rickshaws to ferry passengers from May 27. The same day, a decision will be taken to allow hawker markets to open daily on an odd-even formula. While most of the smaller and neighbourhood stores are already operational, the state has allowed big shops to open from May 21. Permission has also been given to hotels to commence operations and sanitization guidelines are underway for salons, barbers, and beauty parlours which will resume operations.
In a communication to the chief secretaries of the states and Union territories on Monday, Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla reiterated that “restrictions imposed for the fourth phase of the lockdown
by the MHA cannot be diluted”.
Across India, by no means is life normal. But it seems to be getting there.
Inputs from Aditi Phadnis, Aneesh Phadnis, Virendra Rawat, Dasarath Reddy, Gireesh Babu & Avishek Rakshit