The Tamil Nadu government on Thursday announced an extension of the COVID-19 lockdown in the State till January 31, 2021, but with fresh relaxations of curbs. The relaxations will not apply to containment zones.
It banned people from entering beaches, including the Marina in Chennai, on the occasion of ‘Kaanum Pongal’ on January 16.
In a statement, Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami announced that the use of indoor auditoria for social, political, recreational, sporting, cultural, educational and religious events will be allowed from January 1, but at 50% capacity. “Prior permission from the respective District Collectors or the Chennai Police Commissioner, as the case may be, is necessary for these events,” he said.
The State government allowed indoor and outdoor filming for cinema and the small screen without any restrictions. Mr. Palaniswami also announced the easing of curbs to allow public entry into all places of worship; an SOP has to be followed in this regard.
But he maintained that the e-registration system for those entering Tamil Nadu, with the exception of those from Puducherry, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka, would continue.
“Due to efficient governance and cooperation from the public, the spread of COVID-19 has been brought under control,” Mr. Palaniswami said. “The death rate has dipped below 1.7%. For the past 10 days, the number of fresh cases has remained below 1,100 a day,” he underlined.
The Chief Minister reiterated his appeal to the public to follow all the guidelines issued by the State government to contain the spread of COVID-19, including wearing face masks and ensuring physical distance in public places. The authorities are to ensure that these guidelines are followed, he added.