As Centre frowns, Kerala steps back on easing curbs
State not at variance with the Centre on guidelines: Pinarayi
- Following the Centre’s strong objections to Kerala easing certain COVID-19 lockdown restrictions, the State government decided not to allow plying of buses in cities, opening of restaurants and pillion riding on two-wheelers.
- Kerala was not at variance regarding adherence to guidelines on the national COVID-19 lockdown.
- The State government had “diluted” the national timetable for the lifting of curfew sanctions and had “violated” Central government orders and provisions of the Disaster Management Act, 2005.
- The Centre had taken exception to Kerala’s decision to allow salons, dine-in facility at restaurants, workshops and book stores in districts categorised as relatively low-risk Green and Orange (B) zones.
- It had also objected to the opening of industrial units in municipal centres, public transportation, allowing more than two passengers in cars and permitting persons to ride pillion on two-wheelers.
- A new set of guidelines that reflected the concerns raised by the Centre, including a rescinding of the decision to reopen barbershops, allowing public transport or dine-in facilities in restaurants is drafted.
- There will be stricter restrictions on mobility and banned pillion riders and more than two persons in cars.
- Kerala had witnessed an influx of citizens into public places, as the threat of resurgence and new flare-ups loomed large, the State could ill afford to lower its guard.