21, Apr 2021 | CJP Team
The Kerala Government has directed citizens to ensure Covid Appropriate Behaviour at all public places such as beaches, restaurants, parks, railway, bus stations etc. All educational institutions were required to undertake Online Classes, while all summer camps were required to be closed.
As far as weekend restrictions go, all Government Offices, Banks and PSUs were barred from functioning on April 24, 2021 and only essential service providers were allowed unrestricted activities on April 25. On other days, offices of government, banks and PSUs were permitted to operate with 50% staff on a rotational basis to work from home. This excludes emergency services providers, activities pertaining to managing Covid-19, forest department, and essential services providers.
In the case of Private Offices, they are allowed to function at minimum strength or on work from home basis, though no restrictions were imposed upon the staff deputed on Election, Examination or Covid duty.
While Hostels were permitted to operate subject to strict compliance with the prevailing safety guidelines, primarily essential (groceries, take-away delivery of food) and emergency services were allowed to function on both days (April 24 and 25, 2021).
Movement of Long-distance Trains, buses etc were permitted subject to valid documents/tickets, strictly adhering to Covid-19 protocol. Marriages and House warming ceremonies were also allowed provided they were registered in Covid Jagratha Portal and in accordance with Covid Protocols. Keeping in mind the fast during Ramzan of the Muslim brethren, the State Government permitted the Hotels to extend the timings of takeaways from, subject to their adherence to the safety protocols.
The efforts of the Government for balancing the freedom of religion of its Muslim residents with the restrictions on Public Health are commendable. But when it comes to restricting movement of all citizens in general, it seems unclear as to why the Government did not restrict all unnecessary movement for the said period, as that could have proved to be more effective.