Pakistan decides to open tourism, restaurants, hotels and other businesses

Factories,businesses and industries will have to follow coronavirus guidelines and rules 

                                                              
                                                

After significant drop in new coronavirus infections across Pakistan, The government decides to open tourism spots, parks, hotels, marriage halls, theaters, restaurants for dine –in and other businesses closed down due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This was announced by Planning and Development Minister Asad Umar in a televised address to the nation. A review on the decision to reopen educational institutes on September 15 would be done on September 7, Umar added.

The minister was speaking after chairing the meeting of National Command and Operations Centre (NCOC), the primary body overlooking the efforts against the coronavirus pandemic in Pakistan. The relevant and revised standard operating procedures (SOPs) would be finalized in two days, he explained.

Here's a list of dates that various businesses and establishments would be allowed to reopen:

Education: Sept 15, subject to another review meeting on Sept 7

Tourism: Aug 8

Restaurants (dine-in): Aug 10

Cinemas & theaters: Aug 10

Public points: August 10

Gyms: August 10

Marriage halls: May be opened by Sept 15 

                                            

Federal Minister added that sports and games would be allowed to resume but without spectators, while pillion-riding was also permitted. Travelling in public transport while standing, however, will not be allowed, he said.

While beauty parlors, expo centres, and shrines were being allowed to open, he warned that people should follow the SOPs in large gatherings at the shrines and seek permission from the administration beforehand.

However, the restrictions on passengers in trains and planes were to continue until September.

"Passengers will be able to travel on the airplanes in a normal manner from October 1," Umar said. "The situation was brought under control with the cooperation of the people.

The minister explained that the Prime Minister Imran Khan's PTI government had kept certain sectors and economic activities shut down till now but considering the aforementioned praise, the coronavirus numbers, and consultations, debates, and discussions between the NCC, NCOC, and the provinces, some new decisions had been made.

The relevant and revised standard operating procedures (SOPs) would be finalised in two days, he explained.

Punjab government led by chief minister Sardar Usman Buzdar has already allowed all industries, establishments, and factories in Punjab to function 24 hours a day, every day of the week, on the condition of practicing coronavirus-related guidelines. Punjab government has issued the notification in this regard.

Moreover, all businesses related to the construction sector were allowed to operate 24/7 "subject to the adoption of SOPs/ guidelines,” it added. While the latest order was to come into effect immediately, all prior restrictions and exemptions, however, would continue to remain in force.

                                                                      Rukhsana Manzoor Deputy Editor


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