NCOC unveils exemptions for vaccinated people

Published June 29, 2021
ISLAMABAD: A large number of people gather at the Mass Vaccination Centre set up at Fatima Jinnah Park on Monday.—Online
ISLAMABAD: A large number of people gather at the Mass Vaccination Centre set up at Fatima Jinnah Park on Monday.—Online

ISLAMABAD: The National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) on Monday introduced an incentive-based policy for vaccinated persons under which they will be able to enjoy indoor dining, attend weddings and visit cinemas and gyms.

However, decision on summer vacations in the education sector has been left at the discretion of the provinces and administrative units.

On the other hand, the country recorded fewer than 1,000 positive cases for the third consecutive day.

A meeting of the NCOC, which was presided over by Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Asad Umar and co-chaired by National Coordinator Lt Gen Hamooduz Zaman Khan, took a detailed review of the current disease situation in the country and revised the non-pharmaceutical interventions. It was for the first time that incentives have been announced for vaccinated people.

The meeting also took a number of other decisions that will be enforced from July 1 to 31st with a review scheduled for July 27.

As per the decisions, business activities will continue till 10pm whereas essential services such as petrol stations, pharmacies and medical facilities, vaccination centres, milk and yoghurt shops, tandoors and takeaways will operate round the clock.

Indoor and outdoor dining will be allowed till 11:59pm. However, only vaccinated individuals will be able to avail the indoor dining facility with 50pc occupancy.

Restaurant and hotel managements will devise a mechanism to check vaccination certificates of visitors and will ensure that their staff is inoculated.

While deliberating on attendance in marriage functions, the meeting decided to allow 400 guests in outdoor events under strict standard operating procedures (SOPs) and a maximum of 200 vaccinated people in indoor functions.

The forum also asked the Wedding Halls Association and respective managements to work out a process to check vaccination certificates of guests and also ensure vaccination of their staff.

About the reopening of shrines, the meeting authorised the federating units and local district administrations to take the decision.

For the first time since the outbreak of the pandemic, cinemas have been allowed to reopen till 1am but with a condition that only vaccinated people can enter.

The cinemas’ management will also have to come up with a system to look over the vaccination certificates of visitors.

Broader lockdowns with stringent enforcement protocols based on risk assessment will continue and the NCOC will regularly share heat maps with federating units for implementation of lockdowns.

The meeting decided to keep the ban on all types of indoor/outdoor gatherings – cultural, musical, religious and miscellaneous events – as well as contact sports (karate, boxing, martial arts, rugby, water polo, kabaddi and wrestling).

Vaccinated people will be able to visit indoor gyms while inoculation of gym staff/management will be the sole responsibility of the owners.

Public transport and rail services have been allowed to operate with 70pc occupancy under strict SOPs, including mandatory wearing of masks, while amusement parks and swimming pools can function with 50pc capacity.

There will be one closed day during the week, which will be decided by the federating and administrative units.

Current inbound passenger policy will continue till further orders. However, a separate policy on tourism will be issued.

With regards to summer holidays in educational institutions, the NCOC said the federating and administrative units could decide on the matter as no session had been scheduled at the forum to discuss about the vacations.

The meeting was informed that Nadra vaccination certificates could be verified by entering serial/certificate numbers mentioned on the immunisation certificate for Covid-19 on the website nims.nadra.gov.pk or by scanning the QR code on the immunisation certificate with a smart mobile phone and sending the CNIC number to 1166.

Meanwhile, the NCOC reported 20 deaths and 914 cases in a single day.

The total number of active cases as of June 28 stood at 32,225, out of which 2,214 were admitted to hospitals across the country.

Published in Dawn, June 29th, 2021

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