Karnataka eases lockdown conditions; buses, taxis to start

Bus services are being started in a phased manner

Karnataka has announced rules for Lockdown 4 under which public transport will be allowed to ply. There will be restrictions on the entry of people from Maharashtra, Gujarat and Tamil Nadu.

Almost all the relaxations allowed by the central government will be implemented in Karnataka.

Parks will be opened twice a day. Trains running within the state will be allowed to operate.

The state will move away from the color coding method, focusing only on isolating the so-called containment zones, which are localities in which a number of COVID-19 cases have been reported in recent days.

Public bus services, including those operated by private parties, will be allowed on a staggered basis after putting in place new operating procedures to ensure social distance, Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa said today.

Autorickshaws and taxis will be allowed to operate.

The maximum number of passengers inside a full-sized bus will be 30, and only two passengers will be allowed in auto rickshaws and taxis. It is not clear if children are allowed beyond this quota.

Barbershops and salons can open, but hotels will continue to be only able to operate parcel services.

A detailed order will be issued later today, the chief minister added.

The center had, on Sunday, allowed states to open up several sectors and activities that were under prohibition for the last eight weeks, including public transport, non-essential shops (except in malls) and e-commerce.

It also permitted inter-state bus services, provided both states are okay with it.

It is now up to the various states to decide which of these relaxations they want to implement and which ones they don’t want to pass on to their citizens.

Highly infected states like Maharashtra, Gujarat and Tamil Nadu are unlikely to pass on most of the relaxations.

These states are expected to come out with their list of what is allowed and what is not later today.

The Karnataka government, on the other hand, has been keen to reopen businesses and commercial establishments as soon as possible, and had even cancelled train services in an attempt to prevent migrant daily wage laborers from fleeing its cities.