Chennai: Tamil Nadu will start the New Year with new lockdown restrictions due to growing concerns about the rapid rise in novel coronavirus cases, notably those of the Omicron variant.
Chief Minister M.K. Stalin chaired a review meeting on Friday, when the daily case count surpassed 1,000 for the first time in months, and announced the restrictions that will be in effect until January 10.
Physical education lessons for students in grades I through VIII will be cancelled, and play schools and kindergartens will be closed, according to the notification. Physical education classes for students in grades 9 through 12, as well as colleges and ITIs, will be permitted under regular operating norms. At houses of worship, the present rules will have to be followed. Stalin noted that all exhibitions and book fairs have been postponed, including the Chennai Book Fair, which was set to begin on January 6.
In restaurants, motels, and bakeries, only 50 percent of customers will be allowed to dine in at any given time. At amusement parks and entertainment venues, just 50 percent of visitors will be permitted. The number of people who can attend a wedding and accompanying celebrations is limited to 100. Funerals will be limited to 50 people. COVID appropriate behaviour and norms would be checked and penalty would be charged on those who infringe these norms,” Stalin said.
Owners of jewellery and textile stores will have to ensure that only half of their customers are admitted at any given time. Only 50 percent of patrons are permitted at any given time in gyms, yoga centres, and clubs.