Bengaluru, May 18, 2020: Easing lockdown restrictions significantly, Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa announced Monday that public transport services outside COVID-19 containment zones will start operations from Tuesday.
“To facilitate easy movements of citizens, services of the BMTC, KSRTC, NEKRTC and NWKRTC will start from Tuesday morning, except in containment zones. Even private buses can ply,” Yediyurappa said, after discussing the Centre’s Lockdown 4.0 guidelines with his Cabinet colleagues and officials.
“The only condition is that only 30 people should travel in one bus so as to ensure social distancing,” the CM said.
He also clarified that bus fares will not be hiked. “I know there will be losses incurred. The government will bear the losses,” he said.
Auto rickshaws, taxis and maxi cabs (six-passenger vehicles) will also be allowed to operate. “Auto rickshaws and taxis will have a driver and two passengers. Maxi cabs will have a driver and three passengers,” Yediyurappa said.
All parks in the state will be open 7 am to 9 am and 5 pm to 7 pm.
Starting Tuesday, all shops except malls and theatres can open. “This includes salons,” the CM said.
All relaxation will cease to exist every Sunday, the CM said. “Every Sunday will be a complete lockdown. There’ll be no shops and the movement of people. It’ll be a complete rest day,” he said.
The existing curfew from 7 pm to 7 am will continue on all days, which means public transport services will not be allowed during this time.
Trains will run within the state, but interstate trains will not be allowed till May 31, the CM said.
It is mandatory for citizens to wear masks in public. “Not wearing a mask will be penalised,” Yediyurappa said.
On the classification of zones, Yediyurappa said the government’s main focus was containment zones. “We’re particular about containment zones. In the Karwar district, for example, Bhatkal will be a containment zone and no other taluk will have restrictions,” he said.
However, the government will review the relaxation based on how things pan out. “States have been given the freedom, so we can withdraw or modify as necessary,” he said.