Sunday lockdown won’t hit vote count in Tamil Nadu

But other restrictions will continue.

No restrictions will be imposed on the movement of people and materials in Tamil Nadu on May 2 for the counting of votes for the Assembly election, though a total lockdown will be in force.

A government order said no curbs will be imposed on the movement or transport of officials, candidates and their agents and food suppliers. The restrictions during other days have been extended “until further orders”. The order, issued by Chief Secretary Rajeev Ranjan, said vegetable shops would remain closed on Sundays, as would meat stalls, fish markets, cinema halls, shopping malls and other shops. Vegetable shops were earlier allowed to work from 5 a.m. to 1 p.m. The existing relaxations and restrictions would remain in force until further orders.

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The order said the night curfew would continue throughout the State between 10 p.m. and 4 a.m. Private and public buses, autorickshaws, taxis and private vehicles would not be permitted, as decided earlier. “However, autorickshaws, taxis and private vehicles will be allowed to ply for medical emergencies and to ferry passengers from and to railway stations and airports.”

The workers of information technology companies would continue to work their night shifts from office. On all days, weddings would be permitted with the number of guests not exceeding 50 and funeral/last rites with no more than 25 persons, it said.

As decided earlier, markets and stalls selling meat would remain closed at weekends. Fruit and vegetable retail outlets in the Koyambedu market complex and retail outlets in the wholesale markets in all districts would not be allowed, as decided earlier.

Big-format shops (showrooms with a size of 3,000 sq.ft. and above), shopping complex and malls shall not be permitted to operate, the order reiterated. By following the standard operating procedures, both public and private intra-State bus services and metropolitan bus services in the Greater Chennai limits would continue to be permitted.

Mr. Ranjan also chaired a video-conference with the Collectors of Chengalpattu, Kancheepuram, Ranipettai, Theni, Tiruppur and Tiruvallur districts to review the COVID-19 situation. Director-General of Police J.K. Tripathy, Revenue Secretary Atulya Misra, Commissioner of Revenue Administration K. Phanindra Reddy, Health Secretary J. Radhakrishnan and senior officials were present. Former Chief Secretary and adviser to the government K. Shanmugam attended the meeting.

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