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Pakistan reopens restaurants, cinemas and gyms after five months

Wedding halls and schools remain closed till September

SAMAA | - Posted: Aug 10, 2020 | Last Updated: 12 months ago
Posted: Aug 10, 2020 | Last Updated: 12 months ago

A woman getting a haircut at a salon in in Islamabad. Photo: Online

The Pakistan government lifted on Monday almost all restrictions it had imposed to stem the coronavirus outbreak in March.

Provincial governments have announced the reopening of public parks, gyms, sports clubs, public transport, tourism spots, restaurants and movie theatres provided they follow COVID-19 SOPs.

The National Command and Conrol Centre had proposed the reopening businesses citing a decrease in infections. So far, over 284,400 known cases of the virus have been reported while 260,000 people have recovered from it.

Pakistan’s medical community hasn’t figured out how or why the spread of the virus has slowed, but agree that the situation is under control and major medical facilities have little to no coronavirus patients.

The Sindh government has decided that shops and restaurants will be allowed to remain open till 9pm throughout the week.

Schools and other educational institutions will reopen from September 15. The government has also granted permission for non-contact sport events, but without any audience. Wedding halls are likely to be reopened from September 15.

All air, train and road transport is being resumed. There will no longer be any restrictions on the number of trains and planes operating. The restriction on distance between passengers during travel, however, will be maintained at least until the end of September.

People have begun heading to Swat and other tourist spots in the northern areas of the country afters restrictions on tourism were lifted on Saturday after five months.

The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government issued notification to reopen tourism and the road to Naran saw a massive traffic jam on the very first day. Tourism had been closed since March 19.

In Kalam, people found it difficult to get hotel rooms for overnight stays due to a high influx of tourists in the area.

Pakistan went into a lockdown on March 23 and all restaurants, shopping malls and shops were closed to curb the spread of the coronavirus. Schools across the country were closed on March 13.

During the last four months of the lockdown, businessmen of different sectors, labourers and employees laid of from their firms staged sporadic protests, demanding the government lift its restrictions.

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