Kathmandu lockdown extended; rationing on private vehicle, business operations

File: Baneshwar-Babarmahal section of Kathmandu during the 2020 lockdown

Kathmandu, June 20

Chief district officers of the Kathmandu valley have decided to extend the lockdown imposed in the three districts until June 28. However, the restrictions have been heavily relaxed.

A meeting of the CDOs of Kathmandu, Bhaktapur and Lalitpur on Sunday introduced relaxation measures including the rationing on private vehicle operation and small businesses to be effective from Tuesday for one week. The decision reflects the gradual decline in the number of active Covid-19 cases in the valley.

As per the provision, private vehicles with odd registration numbers will be allowed to operate on odd dates in the Nepali calendar and those with even numbers on even dates. Taxies will also be allowed to ply this way.

Likewise, the following calendar has been introduced for the operation of small businesses:

  • Every day until 11 am: Groceries, fruit and vegetable shops, stationery shops
  • Every day 11 am-6 pm: Construction material shops
  • Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday 11 am-4 pm: Jewellery, utensils, electronics, household appliances and automobile shops
  • Monday, Wednesday and Friday 11 am-4 pm: Shopping malls; shops selling sports items, clothes and shoes; salons and beauty parlours; gift shops

Initially imposed for one week since April 29, it was extended until May 12 and then until May 27 earlier. On May 25, the authorities even decided to shut grocery shops and imposed other additional restrictions to come into effect from May 28 to June 3. However, it was widely criticised, and the officials had decided to let the groceries reopen from June 4 when they extended the lockdown to be in effect until June 14. Last week, the CDOs again extended it for one week for the period until tomorrow.

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