Except for Karachi and Hyderabad, indoor dining allowed across Sindh

KARACHI: The Sindh government has extended the ban on indoor dining in Karachi and Hyderabad but reopened it in other cities of the province, as per a notification by the home department Monday. 

Sindh announced new lockdown rules as Pakistan continues to report a large number of coronavirus cases on a daily basis. The new regulations will be imposed from September 1 to 15. 

Except for Karachi and Hyderabad, indoor dining allowed across Sindh

“A complete ban shall continue on indoor dining for Karachi and Hyderabad, however, outdoor dining will be allowed till 10pm under strict Covid protocols.” 

Customers will have to carry their vaccination cards so that LEAs can check them during inspection. Deliveries and takeaways have been allowed 24/7. 

Business timings:

“Business Timings, market and business activities in Karachi division and district Hyderabad may continue till 8pm,” reads the notification, adding that in other divisions and districts of Sindh, market and business activities will continue till 10pm.

It, however, adds that essential services will be allowed to operate 24/7. Such services include pharmacies, medical facilities, vaccination centres, fuel stations, LPG shops, milk shops, tandoors, standalone grocery stores, vendors of fish, meat, vegetable and fruit, e-commerce, and bakeries.

“All the management and staff and customers shall follow Covid-related SOPs,” the notification reads. In Karachi division, Fridays and Sundays will be closed days. In Hyderabad, Fridays and Saturdays will be closed days and in other divisions and districts of Sindh, Friday will be the closed day.

The Karachi Tajir Action Committee demanded the Sindh government allow business activities in the city to remain open till 10pm and grant traders permission to carry out business activities on Fridays as well. 

Weddings:

“There will be a complete ban on indoor weddings and related ceremonies. Outdoor weddings and related ceremonies are allowed with a maximum of 300 guests under strict Covid protocols till 10pm. [In] other divisions and districts of Sindh, outdoor weddings and related ceremonies are allowed with a maximum of 400 guests under strict Covid protocols till 10pm. Indoor weddings and related ceremonies are allowed with a maximum of 200 guests only for the vaccinated individuals under strict COVID protocols till 10pm,” reads the notification. 

Shrines:

“There will be a complete closure of shrines in Karachi division and district Hyderabad. However, shrines in other parts of the province of Sindh may be opened at the discretion of divisional and district administration concerned in consultation with health as well as the Auqaf and religious affairs department, Sindh.”

Cinemas, sports, offices and public transport

The notification also stated that cinemas throughout Sindh will remain closed and all indoor gatherings will remain banned, including cultural, musical, religious and miscellaneous events.

“Complete ban shall continue on contact sports (Karate, Boxing, Martial Arts, Rugby, Water Polo, Kabaddi and Wrestling). Indoor gyms will be allowed for vaccinated individuals only,” the notification reads.

“Routine normal office working hours for public and private offices will continue” in Karachi and Hyderabad, reads the notification. “However, attendance level shall be reduced from 100% to 50%. [In] other divisions and districts of Sindh, routine normal office working hours [will continue] with 100% attendance.”

The notification reads: “Public transport may ply on sanctioned routes with an occupancy level of up to 50% seating capacity, subject to following of all SOPs with staff duly vaccinated. Ban is imposed on all types of snacks served to the passengers during the journey by the transport services.

“Railway services will continue to operate with 70% occupancy under strict Covid protocols subject to following of all SOPs with passengers and staff duly vaccinated. All amusement parks, water sports and swimming pools shall remain closed in Karachi division and district Hyderabad, however, public parks may remain open under strict COVID protocols.”

The home department also allowed the district administration to impose broader lockdown in specified areas within their jurisdiction based on risk assessment.