Islamabad: Pakistan has relaxed coronavirus curbs for fully vaccinated citizens. Those who are vaccinated will now be able to go for indoor dining and movies, attend indoor weddings and go to gyms, according to the new National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) rules.
The NCOC, managing the national pandemic response, eased several curbs as the rate of new infections and death are slowing down. Pakistan on Tuesday reported 735 new cases and 23 fatalities during the last 24 hours. The country documented less than 1,000 coronavirus cases for the fourth day in a row.
The meeting, presided by NCOC chief Minister Asad Umar and co-chaired by NCOC national coordinator Lt Gen Hamooduz Zaman Khan, also announced a number of other decisions to be enforced from July 1 to 31 with a review scheduled at the end of July.
Pakistan is also planning to introduce several incentives such as travel packages, discount on air, rail and bus tickets, shopping and restaurant vouchers to encourage people to get fully vaccinated, officials earlier told Gulf News. At least 15.5 million vaccine doses have been administered in the country of 220 million. Nearly 410,009 people were jabbed during the past 24 hours.
Dining and weddings
According to the new rules, indoor and outdoor dining will be allowed till 11:59pm. However, only vaccinated people will be able to avail of the indoor dining facility with 50 per cent occupancy. Restaurants, hotels and wedding hall managements have been asked to devise a mechanism to check vaccination certificates of visitors and ensure that their staff is inoculated. The officials decided to allow a maximum of 400 guests at outdoor events and 200 vaccinated people in indoor events under strict standard operating procedures (SOPs).
Cinemas and gyms
Movie theatres have been allowed to reopen for the first time since the outbreak of the pandemic last year, However, only vaccinated people would be allowed to enter the movie theatres with strict health COVID-19 protocol in place. Vaccinated citizens are also allowed to visit indoor gyms. Cinema and gym owners would have to ensure the immunization of staff and management for public safety.
Broader lockdowns with stringent enforcement protocols based on risk assessment will continue and the NCOC would regularly share heat maps with federating units for implementation of lockdowns, the forum said. NCOC officials have decided to retain the ban on all types of indoor/outdoor gatherings – cultural, musical, religious and miscellaneous events – as well as contact sports (karate, boxing, martial arts, rugby, water polo, kabaddi and wrestling). Amusement parks, water sports and swimming pools are allowed to continue activities at 50 per cent capacity.
Business activities will continue till 10pm whereas essential services such as petrol stations, pharmacies and medical facilities, vaccination centres, will operate round the clock.
Public transport and rail travel have been allowed to operate with 70 per cent occupancy under strict guidelines, including mandatory wearing of masks.