Bengaluru,(Aryavarth) As the Covid induced lockdown norms in 17 districts of Karnataka eased partially after a gap of nearly 55 days, restaurants, hotels, gyms, clubs and public transport buses and metro resumed their operations on Monday adhering to Covid safety norms of maintaining 50 per cent occupancy.
On Saturday Karnataka decided to relax Covid induced curbs in 17 districts, including Bengaluru city, where the case positivity rate has remained below 5 per cent.
These relaxations are applicable in Bagalkot, Belagavi, Bidar, Bengaluru, Chikkaballapur, Dharwad, Gadag, Haveri, Kalaburagi, Kolar, Koppala, Mandya, Raichur, Ramanagara, Tumakuru, Uttara Kannada and Yadgir.
In these 17 districts, commercial establishments are allowed to remain open from till 5 p.m. while public transport including buses and metro began operations with 50 per cent capacity.
It was a big relief for office goers in Bengaluru as several depend on buses run by the Bengaluru Metropolitan Transportation Corporation (BMTC) for their daily commuting, though still many are preferring to work from home. The BMTC has said it will ply 2,000 buses that will be operated only in busy trip schedules.
The Karnataka State Road Transport Corporations (KSRTC) has said it is deploying 3,000 buses initially for local and inter-district long route bus operations.
With public transport resuming operations, Bengaluru city also witnessed an increase in traffic movement with several government and private offices being permitted to function with 50 per cent of their staff strength and offices dealing with essential and emergency services being permitted to function as per their requirement.
Hotels, clubs and restaurants without air conditioning opened for service but without liquor supply until 5 p.m. with 50 per cent seating, while gyms began functioning at half capacity and parks opening from 5 a.m. to 6 p.m. for walking and jogging.
Functioning of lodges and resorts with bookings up to 50 per cent, outdoor sports activities without spectators, outdoor film shooting are among the other things that are permitted.
Those that continue to remain shut are swimming pools, places of worship, political events, educational institutions, shopping malls, pubs and amusement parks.
Among the remaining 13 districts that have a positivity rate of more than 5 per cent, the existing relaxations which were in place from June 11, will remain in force, allowing shops selling essential goods to be open from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m., and movement of people till 7 p.m.
There are some restrictions which will be applicable across the state, such as curfew will be in place between 7 p.m. and 5 a.m. on weekdays while during weekends curfew will be enforced from 7 p.m. on Friday to 5 a.m. on Monday throughout the state.
Mysuru where the positivity rate is high, will remain under a strict lockdown until July 5.