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Tamil Nadu scraps e-pass within state, allows resumption of public transport

Tamil Nadu on Sunday extended the Covid-19 lockdown till September 30, but virtually opened up everything, including the resumption of public transport within districts, hotels, temples, and shopping malls, from September 1.

While it scrapped the e-pass system, which earned notoriety during the lockdown, for travel within the state, it announced the continuation of the system for those coming from other states and those going to tourist places like Ooty and Kodaikanal. Everyone applying an e-pass from other states will be granted one, while district collectors will apply the passes for entry into the tourist spots.

Announcing easing of restrictions, Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami said in a statement that inter-district public transport will resume, including in Chennai, from September 1 with Standard Operating Procedures (SOP).

However, cinema theatres, swimming pools, amusement parks, schools, colleges, and other educational institutions will continue to remain closed. The state government has also done away with the Sunday lockdown from September.  

Chennai Metro will resume services on September 7 as per a notification from the Centre, while places of worship like temples, mosques and churches will be reopened across the state from September 1. However, the number of people allowed inside the Sanctum Sanctorum will be limited, Palaniswami said.

Shopping malls, showrooms, and big format stores can reopen from September 1, while shops across the state will be open till 8 pm. Restaurants can allow in-dining services from 6 am to 8 pm and take away services till 9 pm.

Though Information Technology firms have been allowed to reopen their offices with 100 per cent staff, Palaniswami asked them to ensure that only “necessary staff” report to the office physically, while the remaining can be allowed to work from home.

Allowing parks to reopen, the state government asked private companies and

Tamil Nadu on Sunday extended the Covid-19 lockdown till September 30, but virtually opened up everything, including the resumption of public transport within districts, hotels, temples, and shopping malls, from September 1.

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