19 March 2021
Clamping down heavily on the fresh Covid surge, Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Friday ordered massive state-wide restrictions beginning tomorrow, with closure of educational institutions till March 31 and restrictions on cinema/mall capacities.
All educational institutions, other than medical and nursing colleges, will remain closed till March 31, with restriction of 50% capacity in cinema halls and not more than 100 persons in a mall at any time. He appealed to the people to keep social activity in their houses to the bare minimum for the next 2 weeks to break the transmission chain. Not more than 10 visitors should be entertained in homes, he urged.
In the 11 worst-hit districts, a complete ban has been ordered on all social gatherings and related functions, except for funerals/cremations/ weddings, which will be allowed with only 20 persons in attendance. This will be enforced from Sunday.
In these districts, which will remain under night curfew from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m, the Chief Minister has ordered cinemas, multiplexes, restaurants, malls etc to remain closed on Sundays, though home deliveries will be allowed subject to night curfew.
Industries and essential services shall be allowed to function, but barring these, all restrictions shall be strictly enforced, the Chief Minister directed the top civic and police officials in these districts.
Also, starting next week, one hour of silence will be observed across the state every Saturday, from 11 a.m. to 12 noon, in memory of those who lost their lives to Covid, with no vehicle to ply at this time.
In the 11 worst affected districts of Ludhiana, Jalandhar, Patiala, Mohali, Amritsar, Hoshiarpur, Kapurthala, SBS Nagar, Fatehgarh Sahib, Ropar and Moga, the Chief Minister ordered restrictions on in-person public dealings in government offices, with citizens to be encouraged to visit offices only for essential services.
Though other districts will not be placed under such stringent restrictions for now, the Chief Minister ordered immediate reinforcement and strict monitoring of the strategy of micro-containment and containment zones where there are evident clusters.