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Bengaluru, May 18, 2020
After 56 days of extended lockdown, Karnataka would observe a total lockdown only on Sundays till May 31, while shops would reopen and bus services resume from Tuesday, Chief Minister B. S. Yediyurappa said on Monday.
"Total lockdown will be enforced only on Sundays (May 24 and May 31) across the state. Standalone shops, including salons, will reopen from Tuesday in all areas, except COVID-19 hotspots and containment zones," Yediyurappa told reporters after a meeting with senior ministers and top officials on the Centre's latest guidelines on the lockdown extended till May 31.
State transport and private operators can resume bus services from Tuesday in cities and towns across the state, barring containment areas.
"Only 30 commuters will be allowed in city and intra-state each bus with no standees to maintain social distancing. Wearing of masks will be compulsory in buses," asserted Yediyurappa.
The Chief Minister also ruled out a hike in bus fares despite the state-run transport corporation suffering huge losses due to suspension of its service for over 55 days since March 25 to contain the coronavirus spread.
"I know there will be losses. The government will bear the losses," he said.
Gyms, hotels, malls and cinemas will remain shut till May 31 to avoid crowds and large gatherings in public places.
"Auto-rickshaws, taxis and mini-cabs can also operate from Tuesday, with lesser number of passengers to maintain physical distancing," said the Chief Minister.
"Autos and taxis will run with a driver and two passengers, while maxi-cabs will have a driver and three passengers," Yediyurappa said.
"Every Sunday will be a complete lockdown, with no shops and movement of people. It'll be a complete rest day," he reiterated.
Warning action against violators of the lockdown in hotspots and red zones, Yediyurappa said stringent measures have been put in place to contain the spread of coronavirus beyond containment areas.
"Action will be taken against violators of the lockdown in hotspots, red zones and containment areas, as we are determined to fight the virus spread," he reiterated.
All public parks in the state will be reopened from 7-9 am and 5-7 pm daily for walkers and joggers who missed healthy activity due to the prolonged lockdown since March 25.
Wearing masks outside home will be mandatory and violators will be fined under the National Disaster Management Act.
Clarifying that the southern state favoured the lockdown in containment zones where the deadly infection persisted, the Chief Minister said that in Karwar district on the state's west coast, Bhatkal is a hotspot in red zone but not other areas or taluks (local bodies) where there is no infection.
"As states have been given the freedom to decide on zones, we can withdraw or modify as and when necessary," Yediyurappa added.