Due to declining COVID-19 cases, the NCC meeting presided over by Prime Minister Imran Khan finally decided to lift restrictions on the tourism sector, restaurants, and transport sector from Aug 8 and 10, respectively. All the areas are given a timetable for opening, including marriage halls (by Sept 15) and educational institutions.
In the presence of representatives of all the provinces, it was also decided to lift restrictions on airlines, railways, and metro buses, following the guidelines of the mandatory gap between the passengers and the number of people allowed to travel by respective vehicles. Such restrictions will be lifted by the next month if the situation permitted.
Asad Umar said at a media briefing, “Restaurants and cafes, outdoor and indoor, will be allowed to open from Aug 10 and standard operating procedures (SOPs) will be finalized in the next two to three days. Moreover, public parks, theatres, cinemas, amusement parks, arcades, expo centers, and beauty parlors will also be allowed to open from Monday.”
He also said that permission would also be given for organizing matches and tournaments involving non-contact sports in the absence of the audience; even indoor gyms and sports clubs would also be given the go-ahead sign.
Restrictions will be lifted from the tourism sector on the 8th; restaurants will be opened by 10th, while educational institutions’ decision is due on Sept 7.
Talking about on-road travel, the minister said restrictions were already lifted on Monday, but standing and traveling on buses is not allowed. In contrast, the ban on pillion riding has lifted with SOPs.
Mr. Umr said that in case of a large gathering, citizens are bound to follow the guidelines issued by the government, businesses and commercial centers would follow the normal. He said the threat is still prevailed, though the situation had improved, thanks to administrative machinery for the implementation of SOPs.