By Bizodisha Bureau, Bhubaneswar, July 31, 2020: The Odisha government on Friday came up with detailed norms for the reopening of activities in the lines of the Centre’s Unlock 3 guidelines, to be applicable till August 31.

Speaking to the media, chief secretary, Asit Tripathy admitted that it is complex to balance between unlocking while maintaining restrictions to prevent COVID-19 spread.

“We have to reopen further to normalise economic activity & livelihoods,” Tripathy added.

Complete lockdown will continue in containment zone areas in the State while the night curfew from 9 PM to 5 AM will remain in force all across the State till August 31.

The state government guidelines say, temple, religious places, cinema halls and teaching activities in schools and colleges will remain closed for public till August 31.

The government also has decided to continue weekend shutdown in Ganjam, Gajapati, Khurda, Cuttack districts and Rourkela Municipal Corporation area till August 31

As per the decision, there will be no restrictions on inter-state movement of goods. But only 50 persons will be allowed to attend the marriage while no more than 20 persons will be allowed in funerals.

While the government has relaxed certain restrictions under Unlock 3, certain activities will continue to be regulated in the month of August under which all government offices in the State will remain closed on Saturdays.

It also has decided to impose penalty of Rs 1000 for not wearing face covering/masks: Rs 1000 for first two violation; Rs 5000 for subsequent violations

Similarly, shops violating social distance -Rs 10,000 penalty & sealing of premises if business/shop owners violate social distancing norms

The government also has decided to impose Rs 10,000 penalty for violations during marriage functions and banquet halls/mandaps to be sealed.

According to a notification issued by the General Administration and Public Grievance Department, the decision to suspend the functioning of the government offices on Saturdays has been taken in view of rising cases of Covid-19.

Besides, all the departments and subordinate offices have been directed to perform official work with 50% staff strength.

Keeping in view the unabated rise in COVID infections, it has been decided that all the departments and sub-ordinate offices shall perform official work with 50% of the employees’ strength (all staff including Group-A Officers) in the month of August, 2020 and ensure that the government work does not suffer,” read the official notification.

The departments/heads of offices are at liberty to decide the manner of selection of employees who will attend office on roster basis.

“However, the essential offices/services such as SRC and OSDMA offices, Police, Fire Services, Health services, Municipal services shall function in full strength,” the notification added.

The government order further stated that the officers/staff who have been provided with virtual private network (VPN) shall work from home, when not assigned roster duty.

They must be available to attend to any office work of urgent nature, at short notice and be available on telephone at all times.

Government employees have been asked to abide by the instructions/guidelines issued from time to time to prevent the spread of COVID19 in Odisha.

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