Extension of lockdown till 31 May 2020 in Tamil Nadu

The government of Tamil Nadu had taken several first hand measures since January 2020 with a view to contain the spread of Covid-19. Between the period of January to March 2020, the government had sanctioned essential medicines worth Rs. 146 crores, 21 lakh protective gears, 1.45 crore face masks and 24 lakh N95 masks. The World Health Organization declared Covid-19 as a pandemic, following which the government has undertaken several measures under the Tamil Nadu Public Health Act, 1939 and the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897 in order to curtail the spread of this disease.

In pursuance of the disaster management laws as applicable in Tamil Nadu, the Tamil Nadu government decided to extend the lock down from 17 May 2020 till 31 May 2020 (12.00 midnight), under the below mentioned guidelines/conditions (“Lock Down Period”). The circular can be accessed here.

Existing restrictions for the below mentioned operations shall stand unaltered until further notification:

  1. Functioning of schools, colleges, training institutes, research institutes.
  2. Public gatherings in places of worship and religious centers.
  3. Cinema halls, amusement parks, bars, gymnasiums, beach, tourist spots, parks, museums, swimming pools, stadiums, auditoriums.
  4. All types of religious, social, political, entertainment, educational, sports, cultural gathering and processions.
  5. Public travel via air, trains, buses including inter-state trains and bus travels shall remain prohibited. (Special flights, trains and public transport with exclusive permission from the centre/state government shall be permitted)
  6. Taxis, autos, cycle rickshaws.
  7. Metro trains and electric trains.
  8. Guest houses (excluding for employees’ accommodation), hotels, resorts.
  9. Funeral procession with not more than 20 persons.
  10. Weddings upon adherence to existing directions.

The restrictions already in place are as follows:

  1. The 12 districts of Chennai, Kanchipuram, Thiruvallur, Chengalpattu, Vizhupuram, Kadalur, Ranipet, Thirupatthur, Kallakuruchi, Thiruvannamalai, Ariyalur and Perambalur shall continue to function under the existing restrictions without any relaxations.
  2. Tourists shall not be allowed to visit the tourist areas of Nilgiris, Kodaikanal and Yercaud.
  3. The lockdown shall function without any relaxations at the Containment Zones.
  4. Apart from the Containment Zones in the Greater Chennai Police limits, all other activities as permitted under the existing list of permitted activities shall continue to be allowed.
  5. Except in the containment zones within the limits of the Greater Chennai Police and the containment zones within the other parts of the state of Tamil Nadu, all other activities as permitted under the existing list of permitted activities shall continue to be allowed.

New restrictions:

As a measure to ease restrictions step by step and in accordance with the advice of the High Level Committee the following relaxations have been introduced:

  1. The following relaxations shall be applicable in the districts of Coimbatore, Salem, Erode, Thiruppur, Namakkal, Karur, Thirunelveli, Thuthukudi, Thenkasi, Kanniyakumari, Theni, Madhurai, Sivaganga, Viruthunagar, Ramanathapuram, Dindugal, Pudhukottai, Trichy, Thiruvaroor, Tanjore, Nagapattinam, Dharmapuri, Krishnagiri, Vellore and Nilgiris:
  • Intra-state transportation shall be allowed without TN e-Pass.

  • In order to prevent the spread of the virus, the public is requested to use the transportation facilities for the purposes of the permitted activities and essential services alone.

  • TN e-pass shall continue to be availed for all inter-state movement.

  • Government and private buses that ply for the transportation of government and private employees shall carry upto 20 persons, vans shall carry upto 7 persons, SUVs and cars such as Innova shall carry upto 3 persons, small cars shall carry upto 2 persons (apart from the driver).

  • Taxis and rented vehicles that function for the purposes of essential services, businesses, healthcare etc. within these 25 districts shall do so without availing TN e-pass. Public should avoid venturing out of their houses unless absolutely required to do so.

  1. The National Rural Employment Guarantee Act – The existing limit of 50% workers shall be extended to 100%.
  2. Apart from the areas within the Greater Chennai Police limits, all the State Municipal Corporations, Municipalities and Town Panchayats shall have further relaxations in terms of the number of workers as follows : (i) Establishments employing less than 100 workers shall function with 100% capacity. (ii) Establishments employing more than 100 workers shall work with a maximum capacity of 50% of its workforce or with atleast 100 workers.
  3. Establishments that have been closed down as a result of the lockdown shall function for the purposes of essential general maintenance with a limited number of workers.
  4. Evaluation of the answer sheets pertaining to Class XII Public (Board) Examination is permitted.
  5. Training for national and international games under an individual trainer is permitted. Permission shall be obtained for the same from the chief of district administration and the Municipal Commissioner of Chennai.
  6. Among the 12 districts where transportation is not permitted, taxis, autos that are used for medical purposes shall be allowed.

General guidelines:

  1. All district collectors and Municipal Commissioners are advised to wear masks, follow social distancing, sanitize their hands at frequent intervals, use disinfectants, ensure safety of workers and ensure strict implementation of the Standing Operating Procedures.
  2. The State Government of Tamil Nadu is strictly monitoring the spread of the disease. The government shall come out with further relaxations as the spread decreases.
  3. Through the 10 special flights under the ‘Vande Bharath’ scheme of the Central Government, 1665 people belonging to Tamil Nadu have been brought back to the country and 264 people have returned through 2 ships.
  4. Steps are being taken to bring back persons struggling to return to Tamil Nadu from other states.
  5. 2 special Rajdhani trains have arrived at Tamil Nadu from New Delhi this week. Similarly, the government shall undertake measures to ensure that these trains ply for two days in a week with the permission of the Central Government.