Businesses to operate till 9 pm and no more ‘work from home’

All the businesses in 20 dzongkhags whose closing time had been curtailed to 7 pm can resume with extension of closing time till 9 pm starting from July 1, 2020 except for those specified under later phases. Earlier the government imposed the 7 pm rule to prevent community transmission.

Karaoke, drayangs, night clubs, pubs and movie theaters will be considered in the subsequent phases. Although not the case today, the PM said the risk of spread of the disease in these establishments are higher. Informal businesses and street vendors will be allowed to operate though all vendors must wear face masks.

Meanwhile, all government, corporate and allied agencies are to formally discontinue “work from home” but RCSC may consider exceptions if need be.

Agencies are also encouraged to minimize interactions and continue using technology for meetings and other official correspondences.

Lyonchhen requested to refrain from going out, people are advised to avail of services that have delivery and are online. All business must follow COVID-19 prevention and safety guidelines and protocols. They must ensure adequate distance among customers and disallow crowding at all times.

All sports centers, stadiums, gyms, yoga, dance studios, rubber tracks and facilities for traditional games will reopen starting from tomorrow. No tournaments or spectators will be allowed. Sports and fitness facilities should ensure minimum attendance at a time. For archery, it will be 15 people. No dancers or onlookers will be allowed.

Druk Trace app, or manual registration will have to be in place for record keeping. All hygiene and sanitation provisions should be in place.

Religious functions and social events like tendrels, birthdays and inaugurals will be limited to family members and close circle of associates. All religious sites will open but the site in-charge should monitor and discourage crowd. All visitors are to follow COVID norms.

All parks and public places will open but authorities will monitor and disallow huge gatherings.

Taxis and other public transports can carry passengers to full seating capacity but the condition is that passengers must use face masks. It is optional for drivers, as it could pose inconvenience and risks, particularly for long journey.

And all government, corporate and private entities are encouraged to opt for virtual meetings and conferences. Trainings and workshops held in facilities, if not possible online, should limit the number of people and follow COVID norms.

Prime Minister (Dr) Lotay Tshering said amid increasing number of cases in our quarantine facilities and reports of local transmissions across the border towns, expressions of concerns are only natural. Some would be content with measures as they exist, while others would favor government to tighten existing restrictions.

“But the way forward, if we really trust our system and frontline workers, is for us to draw advantages from the circumstances we are in. Given a choice, we will always go for life over livelihood. However, with lives secured, it only makes sense to continue our livelihoods. When we know we have the room to allow economic activities, continuing to focus on prevention alone, comes on the side of an irrationality,” said the PM.

“By lifting existing restrictions, which will be done in phases, we are convinced there is enough room and opportunity to wage forward, without risking the spread of coronavirus,” said Lyonchhen.

“Our surveillance system is smart enough to tackle the consequence of a local transmission, in the event of which, instructions for additional restrictions will be immediately issued to prevent spread and we are certain about our people’s compliance. This adds to the efficiency of our system and has given us the confidence to chart the course ahead,” said Lyonchhen.

Lyonchhen said now the government has decided to extent the closing of business from 7pm to 9 pm, with this, people working in frontlines, their works get doubled and will have more responsibilities to shoulder but it is going to benefit the people in country. Lyonchhen expressed his gratitude to the frontline workers, volunteers, including De-suups.

Lyonchhen said that every individual should be reminded that “All in all, our journey hereon is about deriving opportunities, and reaping benefits and fruit of untold sacrifices of His Majesty The King and hard work of our people on the frontlines”.

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