Sindh relaxes Covid-19 curbs, allows indoor dining till midnight for vaccinated citizens

Published September 15, 2021
Children wear protective masks as they wait with their mother to cross the road in Karachi on January 15. — Reuters/File
Children wear protective masks as they wait with their mother to cross the road in Karachi on January 15. — Reuters/File

The Sindh government on Wednesday relaxed some Covid-19 curbs in the province, including allowing markets and businesses to operate till 10pm as well as indoor dining till midnight.

According to a notification issued by the provincial Home Department, the new guidelines will be effective from September 16 (Thursday) to September 30.


Major takeaways

  • Businesses/markets can operate till 10pm
  • Sunday is closed day for Karachi Division, Friday for the rest of the province
  • Indoor dining allowed for vaccinated citizens at 50pc occupancy
  • Takeaway/drive through and home delivery allowed 24/7
  • Indoor gatherings allowed for vaccinated individuals with a maximum capacity of 200 guests
  • Normal working hours allowed at offices with 100pc attendance

Under the new rules, markets and businesses will be allowed to operate till 10pm. However, essential services — including pharmacies, vaccination centres, petrol pumps, grocery stores, bakeries, and milk and vegetable shops — will be allowed to operate 24/7.

"All management/staff/customers shall follow Covid related SOPs," the notification said.

During the week, closing day for businesses and commercial activities has been notified as Sunday for Karachi Division and Friday for the rest of the province.

Indoor dining will be allowed till 11:59pm at 50 per cent occupancy for vaccinated individuals only. "Carrying vaccination cards ... shall be mandatory for the purpose of inspection by law enforcement agencies," the order states.

Takeaway, drive-through and home delivery are allowed 24/7, on the condition that staff are following SOPs and delivery personnel have been vaccinated.

Meanwhile, indoor weddings and ceremonies have been allowed for vaccinated individuals with a maximum capacity of 200 guests.

"Outdoor weddings and related ceremonies are allowed with a maximum of 400 guests under strict Covid protocols," the order states.

Shrines have been allowed to open at the discretion of the divisional/district administration concerned, while normal working hours have been allowed at offices with 100pc attendance.

However, cinemas will continue to remain closed through out the province and there shall be a complete ban on contact sports, which includes karate, boxing, martial arts, wrestling and rugby.

Only vaccinated individuals will be allowed to visit indoor gyms.

"Public transport may ply on sanctioned routes with 50pc occupancy, subject to following of all SOPs [and] with staff duly vaccinated. A ban is imposed on all type of snacks served to passengers during the journey by transport services," the order said.

Railway services will continue to operate with 70pc occupancy under strict Covid-19 protocols subject to following of all SOPs with staff and passengers fully vaccinated.

All amusement parks, swimming pools to continue activities at 50pc capacity. Public parks may remain open under strict Covid-19 protocols, the order said.

Wearing a mask will be compulsory at all public places, while tourism will be allowed for vaccinated individuals under strict Covid-19 protocols.

The notification added that the district administration can decide to impose broader lockdowns for specified areas within their jurisdiction.

On Wednesday, 2,714 coronavirus cases and 73 deaths during the last 24 hours. The total number of cases is 1,212,809 and the death toll is 26,938.

The number of cases reported daily has fallen, with the country reporting less than 3,000 cases for the past three days.

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