“Following the footsteps of the Union government, the State government is also likely to provide more relaxations during the next phase of the lockdown. However, general lockdown will be in place, as number of COVID-19 positive cases are increasing steadily,” said sources in the Secretariat.
The first of the lockdowns due to COVID-19 which commenced on March 25 saw complete shutdown of all the services except essential services. But as the phases progressed, the State government provided relaxations for several sectors, including allowing the opening offices, shops, private transport in the subsequent months.
However, educational institutions, places of recreation such as theatres, malls and tourist places remain closed for the past four months.
Meanwhile, following the Centre’s move to provide relaxation for movie theatres, Tamil Nadu government may consider the same, official sources said. “Though the State government may not immediately issue orders to open theatres, the issue will be discussed with District Collectors. Their opinions will also be considered before taking the final call,” said sources.
Chief Secretary K Shanmugam had held a meeting with the Collectors on Friday, during which he had collected inputs about the health facilities in all the districts as the number of cases are likely to increase if government goes for further relaxations.
Sources added that the Chief Minister is likely to hold a meeting with medical experts after the meeting with District Collectors to seek their opinion before making public the decision on the next phase of lockdown.
“Though the government is mulling over the idea of providing relaxations, educational institutions, gyms, fitness centres and tourist centres are unlikely to be opened in the next phase, too,” added sources.