The Himachal Pradesh government on Sunday announced relaxations for lockdown 5 under which the curfew would be relaxed from 6 am in the morning to 8 pm in the evening to facilitate the common people.

All religious places of worship will be allowed to open for local residents only and restaurants, dhabas have also been allowed to serve food with 60 per cent seating capacity.

All hotels have also been allowed to open for non-tourism purposes as housing persons visiting the state for official and business purposes.

After a virtual meeting with all the Deputy Commissioners, Superintendents of Police and Chief Medical Officers, Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur said inter-district buses would start plying from 1st June.

But it must be ensured that there was proper social distancing in the buses and also at the bus stands.

“The District Magistrates and Superintendents of Police would provide adequate police force for crowd management and law and order maintenance at all the bus stands.

The buses would be allowed to ply with not more than 60 per cent occupancy and the drivers, conductors and passengers would follow all the safety protocols of the Health department,” he added.

Thakur said the effective mechanism of Information Education and Communication (IEC) should be evolved to sensitize the people regarding the preventive steps to be taken to check the spread of the COVID pandemic.

Besides, proper hoarding must be installed at bus stands and other places to motivate the people to maintain social distancing and use face masks besides adequate arrangement for announcements through the public address system.

Chief Minister further stated that inter-district movement of the people of the state would be allowed without any pass but passes would be required for interstate movement.

Further, the people coming from other parts of the country would be quarantined. Persons coming from red zones would be kept in institutional quarantine and those from other areas would be kept in home quarantine.

He said that the persons in institutional quarantine would be allowed to go home only after their test for COVID-19 was negative.

“Over 1.60 lakh Himachalis stranded in various parts of the country have reached the State from 25th April till now.

Around 91,000 have been kept under home quarantine and over 7000 have been kept under institutional quarantine. The main focus should be laid on tracing and screening of all the contacts of COVID positive patients to ensure their timely treatment and check the spread of this virus,” he said.

He added the home quarantine facilities must be strengthened and made more effective and the representatives of Panchayati Raj Institutions must be involved in a big way to keep track of the people arriving from other parts of the country.

The PRI representatives should also motivate the people to strictly follow the norms of home quarantine, he added.

Chief Secretary Anil Khachi, Director General of Police Sanjay Kundu, Additional Chief Secretary Health RD Dhiman, Principal Secretaries Prabodh Saxena, JC Sharma and Onkar Sharma and Special Secretary to the Chief Minister DC Rana other senior officers were also present in the meeting.