Covid restrictions: Sindh relaxes business hours, indoor dining guidelines

The Sindh government has allowed the relaxation of certain Covid-19 restrictions, namely where they will allow business and markets to operate until 10 pm and will allow vaccinated citizens to avail themselves indoor dining until midnight.

The new guidelines will be effective from September 16 to September 30, according to an official notification from the Home Department.

Along with allowing businesses/markets to operate till 10 pm, it was stated that Sundays would be a closed day for the Karachi Division, while Friday would be closed for the rest of the province.

However, essential services — including pharmacies, vaccination centres, petrol pumps, grocery stores, bakeries, and milk and vegetable shops — will be allowed to operate 24/7.

The indoor dining would be allowed only for vaccinated citizens at 50 percent occupancy, while takeaway and drive-thru facilities and home delivery will be allowed around the clock.

Indoor gatherings are allowed for vaccinated individuals with a maximum capacity of 200 guests. Normal working hours are allowed at offices with 100 percent attendance.

“All management/staff/customers shall follow Covid related SOPs,” the notification said.

During the week, closing day for businesses and commercial activities has been notified as Sunday for Karachi Division and Friday for the rest of the province.

Indoor dining will be allowed till 11:59 pm at 50 percent occupancy for vaccinated individuals only. “Carrying vaccination cards … shall be mandatory for the purpose of inspection by law enforcement agencies,” the order states.

Takeaway, drive-through and home delivery are allowed 24/7, on the condition that staff are following SOPs and delivery personnel have been vaccinated.

Meanwhile, indoor weddings and ceremonies have been allowed for vaccinated individuals with a maximum capacity of 200 guests.

“Outdoor weddings and related ceremonies are allowed with a maximum of 400 guests under strict Covid protocols,” the order states.

Shrines have been allowed to open at the discretion of the divisional/district administration concerned, while normal working hours have been allowed at offices with 100pc attendance.

However, cinemas will continue to remain closed throughout the province and there shall be a complete ban on contact sports, which includes karate, boxing, martial arts, wrestling and rugby.

Only vaccinated individuals will be allowed to visit indoor gyms.

“Public transport may ply on sanctioned routes with 50pc occupancy, subject to following of all SOPs [and] with staff duly vaccinated. A ban is imposed on all types of snacks served to passengers during the journey by transport services,” the order said.

Railway services will continue to operate with 70 percent occupancy under strict Covid-19 protocols subject to the following of all SOPs with staff and passengers fully vaccinated.

All amusement parks, swimming pools to continue activities at 50 percent capacity. Public parks may remain open under strict Covid-19 protocols, the order said.

Wearing a mask will be compulsory at all public places, while tourism will be allowed for vaccinated individuals under strict Covid-19 protocols.

The notification added that the district administration can decide to impose broader lockdowns for specified areas within their jurisdiction.

On Wednesday, 2,714 coronavirus cases and 73 deaths during the last 24 hours. The total number of cases is 1,212,809 and the death toll is 26,938.

The number of cases reported daily has fallen, with the country reporting less than 3,000 cases for the past three days.

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