Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Sunday announced that fully vaccinated people can travel in Mumbai local trains from August 15. However, a gap of 14 days is mandatory after taking the second dose to board the trains.
Fully vaccinated people will have to get their train passes, that will be available on smartphones, ward offices and suburban railway stations. “Passengers can download train passes through the mobile app. Those who do not have smartphones can take photo passes from municipal ward offices in the city as well as suburban railway stations,” the chief minister said during his address to the state.
Speaking in a live webcast, the chief minister also said that his government was considering more relaxations for shops, malls, restaurants and places of religious worship and a decision would be taken after a meeting of the task force on Monday.
Earlier, the state government had eased Covid curbs in 14 districts with lowest Covid positivity rate. However, no decision was taken for Mumbai local trains.
On Saturday, the chief minister had said that he would take a call in few days on how can relaxations be given to more segments of people. So far, only those involved in essential sectors were allowed to travel in Mumbai local trains.
During his address today, Thackeray said the second wave was still not over.
After festivals last year, he said the country witnessed two waves. If virus spread needs to be curbed, norms will have to be followed strictly. He said pace of vaccination was increasing, but it was not sufficient. He said the state government was strengthening the health infrastructure to combat the third wave.
The chief minister also said that he will meet task force tomorrow (Monday) to discuss relaxations for restaurants and malls in the state. Earlier, he had met with the representatives of hotels and restaurants, who demanded further relaxations in timings beyond 4 pm.
Earlier in the day, Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar announced relaxations for Pune and Pimpri Chinchwad. He said shops in Pune can remain open till 8 pm from tomorrow (August 9) and restaurants with a 50 per cent capacity till 10 pm. Malls are also allowed to function in Pune city and Pimpri Chinchwad township till 8 pm but only citizens who have received both the doses of vaccines will be allowed entry.
Traders and mall workers associations have been demanding that the timings of their establishments be extended. Recently, the state government had allowed shops to function till 8 pm in 25 districts excluding Pune and ten other districts.
Today, Pawar said that considering the constant positivity rate at 3.3 per cent in Pune and at 3.5 per cent in Pimpri Chinchwad, the government was relaxing some norms for business. “From Monday, all shops are allowed to open till 8 pm. However, shop owners and staff must wear masks and get themselves fully vaccinated. Restaurants are also allowed to operate with a 50 per cent capacity till 10 pm. Pune rural areas will continue to remain under the current level-3 restrictions owing to a high positivity rate,” he said while speaking to reporters.
The deputy chief minister said that the mall staff must get themselves fully vaccinated, and they should undergo tests once every fortnight. Malls are allowed to remain open till 8 pm. He appealed to traders to keep all the commercial establishments and markets closed in the limits of Pune and Pimpri Chinchwad civic areas once a week on a day of their choice.
On Sunday, Maharashtra reported 5,508 new Covid cases and 151 deaths while recoveries stood at 4,895 in the last 24 hours.
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