The Chief Minister of Punjab has announced the continuation of existing restrictions in urban areas during Unlock 4 till the end of September. As the number of Covid-19 cases spiral, Section 144 of the Code Of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (“CrPC”) will continue to remain in force along with the weekend and night curfew (7 pm to 5 am) in all cities of the State. District Authorities must however facilitate movement of students and others connected with examinations. The decision has been taken in due consultation with the Centre, as required by the MHA Unlock 4.0 Order dated 29th August, 2020.
Details of restrictions:
1. Section 144 of the CrPC banning all social, political, religious gatherings, protests and demonstrations will continue to remain in force throughout the State, while gatherings relating to marriage and funerals shall be allowed only for 30 persons and 20 persons respectively.
2. There will be total curfew on Saturdays and Sundays in the municipal States, while movement of individuals for all non-essential activities shall remain prohibited between 7:00 pm to 5:00 am within municipal limits of all the cities of Punjab throughout the week, as per the orders of the Chief Minister.
3. Movement of students and others in connection with all kinds of examinations, admission/entrance tests conducted by Universities, Boards, Public Service Commissions and other institutions has been excluded from the restrictions.
4. Religious places have been allowed to stay open on all days up to 6.30 p.m., as have been restaurants (including those in malls) and liquor vends. The restrictions on day / time do not apply to hotels.
5. Essential activities and services, movement of persons and goods on National and State Highways, inter-state & intra state movement of persons and unloading of cargo and travel of persons to their destinations after disembarking from buses, trains and aeroplanes will be permitted during the restrictive conditions. These essential services include those related to health, agricultural and related activities, dairying and fishery activities, banks, ATMs, stock markets, insurance companies, on-line teaching, public utilities, public transport, industry in multiple-shifts, construction industry, offices both private and government etc.
6. Shops/malls, except those dealing in essential commodities, will be allowed to remain open till 6.30 p.m. from Monday to Friday but will be closed in all cities on Saturday and Sunday. Shops dealing in essentials will be open even on the weekend, till 6.30 p.m.
7. The existing restriction on passengers in vehicles will continue to remain in force, with only 3 persons including driver to be allowed in a 4-wheeler vehicle, and all buses and public transport vehicles to allow sitting for only half (50%) capacity with no person standing.
8. Government and private offices must operate with 50% staff strength till the end of the month i.e. not more than 50% of employees would be permitted on a particular day.
9. Relaxation with respect to opening of shops in the five worst affected cities of Amritsar, Jalandhar, Patiala, Mohali & Ludhiana have been implemented by removing the condition of only 50% of the non-essential shops being open on a given day in these cities.
Police must ensure strict action against the organisers and main participants in case of any violation of Orders under Section 144 of Cr.P.C.