The National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) on Sunday announced to expand the current coronavirus restrictions to 27 cities of the country beyond the August 31 deadline.

The NCOC will review the restrictions on September 13.

The decision was taken in view of the growing number of COVID-19 positive cases and the ensuing pressure on the country’s healthcare system. 

The NCOC said that considering the situation, the scope of the implementation of the SOPs has been extended to 27 cities of the country. Previously, these SOPs were only applicable to 13 cities.

As per the rules, all commercial activities — with the exception of essential services — will be closed by 8pm. Similarly, there will be two safe days each week, which means that markets will remain closed twice a week. However, it will be up to the provinces to decide which days would be considered safe days.

Indoor dining will remain banned across the country, while outdoor dining will only be allowed until 10pm. Meanwhile, restaurant takeaway and delivery services will continue to operate 24/7.

Indoor weddings will be completely banned, while outdoor wedding events will be allowed with a maximum limit of 300 guests. Outdoor events will have to be wound up by 10pm.

Shrines and cinemas will remain closed, while games such as boxing, martial arts, rugby, water polo, kabaddi, and wrestling will also be banned. 

Indoor gyms will remain open to only fully vaccinated individuals, the NCOC said.

All public and private offices will continue to operate at a 50 percent capacity. Similarly, public transport will allow 50 percent passengers. On the other hand, railways will be allowed to operate at a 70 percent capacity.

Recreational parks and swimming pools will remain closed, while public parks will remain open but people entering those parks will have to follow the SOPs strictly. 

The NCOC said educational institutions will operate at a 50 percent capacity thrice a week.


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