Govt keeps schools, colleges shut in J&K till Dec 31

Public transport to ply with full capacity

* DCs asked to focus on positivity rate

* All districts in Orange category.
* No capacity restrictions in public transport.
* DCs to keep focus on weekly positivity rate.

Sanjeev Pargal
JAMMU, Nov 29: The J&K Government today released new COVID related guidelines keeping schools and colleges closed till December 31, lifting seating capacity restrictions on all kind of public transport, listing all districts of the Union Territory in Orange Zone excepting Lakhanpur and Jawahar Tunnel area on the National Highways and directing the Deputy Commissioners to keep focus on weekly positivity rate.
The guidelines were issued by BVR Subrahmanyam, Chief Secretary and Chairperson State Executive Committee. They will come into force from December 1 and remain valid till further orders.

Click here for full order
“All schools, colleges and higher educational institutions including Anganwadi Centres will continue to remain closed till December 31 except training institutions run by the Centre/State Governments,’’ the Government order said.
However, online and distance learning will continue while 50 percent of teaching and non-teaching staff has already been permitted to be called to the Schools for online teaching/tele-counseling and related work, as is the practice in place. Students from Class 9th to 12th will continue to visit their schools outside Containment Zones on voluntary basis for taking guidance from their teachers.
The Government kept all 20 districts of the Union Territory in Orange Zone excepting Lakhanpur town in Kathua district on Jammu-Pathankot National Highway and Jawahar Tunnel area on either side of Jammu-Srinagar National Highway, which will be in the Red Zone.

Click here for full order
The Government has allowed public transport to operate on full capacity basis lifting the earlier restriction of carrying 50 percent passengers only.
“The inter-district public transport including buses, mini-buses and maxi-cabs can operate at full capacity on routes to be notified by the Transport Department,’’ the order said.
The Government has asked all District Magistrates to keep focus on positivity rate of closed clustered spaces like public/private offices; Malls, Bazaars etc and consider implementing staggered timing of operations in case weekly positivity rate goes beyond 10 percent in these spaces.
However, no Deputy Commissioner or any subordinate Magistrate will impose any local lockdown outside notified Containment Zones without prior consultations with the State Executive Committee. The SEC, if required, will convey its decision to the Magistrates after further consulting the Union Ministry of Home Affairs.
As per the Government order, there will be no restrictions on entry of passengers, returnees or travelers coming to Jammu and Kashmir whether by road, rail or air but they will have to undergo compulsorily COVID-19 Antigen test as per protocol of the Government. The persons testing positive for the virus will have to follow COVID management protocol.
Movement of individuals for all non-essential activities will remain restricted between 10 pm to 5 am. The Government has empowered the Magistrates to issue specific prohibitory orders in this regard under Section 144 of CrPC.
The Government has ordered that social, political, sports, entertainment, academic, cultural and religious functions, other gatherings and congregations beyond permitted limit of 100 will have to fulfill certain conditions.
“In closed spaces, a maximum of 50 percent persons of hall capacity will be allowed subject to a ceiling of 200 persons. However, based on assessment of the situation, Government may reduce the ceiling to 100 persons or less in closed spaces.
“In open spaces, the gatherings will be allowed keeping the size of ground or open space in view and with strict observance of physical distancing, mandatory wearing of masks and use of hand sanitizers,’’ the Government order said.