The government on Tuesday issued a gazette notification easing the ongoing restrictions from Thursday, taking into consideration the interests of cattle traders and shopping mall owners ahead of Eid-ul-Azha.
The "relaxed restrictions" period will begin from July 14 midnight and end at 6:00am on July 23.During the time, the public transportation and long-haul buses will resume on a limited scale and shopping malls are be allowed to reopen centring the Eid.
People have been asked to stay alert, wear masks and follow all other health guidelines.
Cabinet Division, however, said that a two-week "strict lockdown" will be on from July 23 6:00am till August 5 midnight.
The factories and industries will remain close during the strict lockdown, the gazette said.
The government took the decision to ease the lockdown at a time when country’s coronavirus situation is continuing to worsen. On Monday, 220 people died from Covid-19 while 13,768 cases of new infections were detected.
The ongoing lockdown is going to expire on July 14 midnight.Earlier, the government on July 5 extended all-out strict lockdown by seven days after first spell of strict lockdown was imposed from July 1 as the number of deaths and infections increased by leaps and bounds. Earlier on June 30, the Cabinet Division extended the lockdown from July 1 to 7 imposing 21-point restrictions, deploying members of armed forces, Bangladesh Border Guard and regular police forces in the field along with executive magistrates.
Besides, all government and non-government offices, malls, markets, public transports and all private motorised vehicles remained off while goods-laden trucks, covered vans and cargo vessels continue their operations.
Before going to strict enforcement of lockdown from July 1, the government on June 16 last extended the countrywide ‘so-called’ lockdown for a month until July 15 reopening all government and private offices, autonomous organisations, banks and financial institutions.
On June 28, the closure of the border with India was extended for another 14 days until July 14. The border was first closed on April 26 to check spread of corona transmission.
On June 6, the government extended the countrywide lockdown for 10 days until June 16, saying the deputy commissioners of high-risk districts can announce lockdown in their respective areas after discussion with the local representatives and the committees concerned.
Due to a rise in coronavirus cases from mid-March, the government imposed a relaxed lockdown for one week from April 5.
But the government allowed resumption of public transport services in city corporation areas from April 7 as well as reopening of shops and markets for five days from April 9 in the face of protests against the lockdown.
The relaxed lockdown was extended for two more days until April 13. As per the suggestions of health experts, the government enforced a stricter lockdown from April 14 to April 22, which was extended until July 15 in phases.
On May 8 last, the Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research (IEDCR) confirmed the detection of the Delta variant, which was classified by the World Health Organization as a "variant of global concern", in Bangladesh.
Country’s educational institutions remain closed from last year and it will remain close until July 31.