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Pakistan eases coronavirus restrictions, allows outdoor dining till 12am

The decisions will take effect from May 24

SAMAA | - Posted: May 19, 2021 | Last Updated: 7 months ago
Posted: May 19, 2021 | Last Updated: 7 months ago


The National Command and Operation Centre announced on Wednesday a number of decisions to ease the coronavirus restrictions in Pakistan.

The decisions were made at a meeting presided over by Planning Minister Asad Umar in Islamabad.

Here are the measures that will take effect from May 24:

  • Outdoor dining allowed at restaurants till 12am
  • Takeaways allowed around the clock
  • Tourist spots allowed to open with strict COVID-19 protocols in place 
  • Schools and universities will be reopened in districts with less than 5% coronavirus positivity rate 
  • Gadani and Misri Shah industry will be re-opened from May 20

Restrictions that will be eased from June 1:

  • Outdoor weddings can take place with 150 guests
  • Schools and universities to reopen
  • Elective surgeries will resume June 1

The following measures will be reviewed on May 27:

  • Wearing masks in public places
  • Continuation of current in-bound and land border policy till further orders
  • All SSC / HSSC exams will be held after June 20. Professional exams will take place on a case-to-case basis as recommended by the Ministry of Education

The NCOC said the following restrictions will remain in place till further orders:

  • Closure of shrines, cinemas, indoor gyms
  • Ban on indoor dining  
  • Closure of amusement parks (walking / jogging tracks will stay open with strict SOPs)
  • Complete ban on sports, cultural and other events
  • Ban on all types of indoor and outdoor gatherings (cultural, musical and religious)
  • Inter-provincial transport to remain suspended on Saturdays and Sundays

Pakistan has reported 886,184 confirmed cases and 19,856 deaths from coronavirus. So far, 799,951 people have recovered from the infection.

The number of active cases in the country stands at 66,377.

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One Comment

  1. Syed Razi Ahmad  May 20, 2021 4:49 am/ Reply

    Please dont open small classes and schools (till 8th class) till whatever maximum we can avoid. These children are mostly immune to Covid but all are good carrier responsible for spreading the virus.
    Yes, the cities where vaccination rate reached to a specific limit like 60% of above 30 yrs (get two jabs) those cities may open that too as a local government decision.

    I failed to understand, when Health and Education are provincial matters why the Central government fiddle in this matter. Yes, lets Sindh be allowed to open schools / colleges or eateries etc themselves, so that if COVID spread then they themselves be responsible to curtail it.

    Why Shafqat Mehmood jump in this bandwagon. Central government should poke its nose in matters, where provinces asked them an assistance beyond their control.

    Everyone blame PTI government in Ibd for shortage of vaccine but as per 18th amendment, it was provinces responsibility to extend health facilities to its people. When PPP / PMLN were in power and Punjab was attacked under Dengue, did Punjab / Shahbaz Sharif did not handle (good / bad) at provincial level. So why not COVID as well, when we have no Federal Health Minister after 18th amendment.

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