Tuesday, 26 October, 2021

Lockdown relaxed

Public transport starts plying; offices, markets, factories reopen today

  • Special Correspondent
  • 11 August, 2021 12:00 AM
  • Print news
Lockdown relaxed

Public transport has started plying countrywide and offices, markets and factories have reopened today as the strict lockdown was relaxed on Tuesday midnight.

In the wake of the current situation in the country, the government decided to ease the lockdown imposed to contain the surge of coronavirus.

Bangladesh Road Transport Authority (BRTA) said in a notification on Monday that the 60 percent increase in bus fares has been scrapped and previous fares would be reinstated from today.

Any buses will not be allowed to take passengers standing beyond their seat capacities, it warned.

Local administration will allow half the number of vehicles to operate every day in consultation with law enforcement agencies, offices, agencies and transport associations.

Moreover, the authorities concerned must ensure the health guidelines issued by the government to curb the transmission of the contagious disease.

Instructions on hygiene must be adhered to at all times on public transport and legal action would be taken against violators, the BRTA warned.

In a notification on Sunday, the Cabinet Division said the nationwide strict lockdown will not be extended and its current deadline will expire on Tuesday.

It also said all offices, banks, financial institutions, factories and markets will reopen on Wednesday (today), maintaining health guidelines.

Public transport will resume operations, carrying passengers at a full capacity.

However, in the case of road transport, local administrations – after consulting law enforcement agencies, offices and agencies concerned, as well as transport owners’ and workers’ associations in their jurisdictions – can allow half the number of vehicles to run every day, says the notification.

Shopping malls, markets and shops are allowed to remain open from 10am to 8pm. All factories will be able to operate as before. Restaurants can remain open from 8am to 10pm, but they can only take half their capacity of dine-in customers.

Authorities concerned must ensure the maintaining of the health safety protocols to contain Covid-19 transmission on all modes of transport, the circular added.

Violation of health safety regulations might lead to legal consequences, and the authorities concerned would have to bear them, it further said.

Passengers, drivers, supervisors, conductors, helpers, cleaners and ticket sellers must wear masks. Masks and sanitizers will also be provided for them.

Buses must also be cleaned at the start and end of every trip using disinfectant. Transport owners have also been asked to provide disinfectant for spraying on passenger handbags and luggage.

In continuation of previous restrictions, tourist spots, resorts, community centres, and recreational places will, however, remain shut.

Earlier, the government decided to extend the strict lockdown until August 10 in the wake of the worsening situation of coronavirus in the country.

The government enforced a 14-day strict lockdown from July 1 which was eased for eight days on the occasion of Eid-ul-Azha.

The strict lockdown, however, was imposed again on July 23 for two weeks. However, the government allowed reopening off all export-oriented factories, including readymade garment ones, from August 1 amid the lockdown.