pakistan
Tuesday Nov 24 2020
By ,
Web Desk

COVID-19 restrictions in Pakistan: What's open, what's closed

By ,
Web Desk
A police officer uses a megaphone to disperse shopkeepers, who gather to reopen their shops at a closed electronics market during a coronavirus lockdown in Karachi, on April 27, 2020. — Reuters

The COVID-19 pandemic is progressively getting worse in Pakistan. Fresh restrictions have now been placed across the country to prevent the spread of the virus during its second wave.

Prime Minister Imran Khan summoned a meeting of the National Coordination Committee today (Tuesday) at 4pm to review the national strategy to curb the spread of the virus.

Important decisions are expected in the meeting, including more smart lockdowns in different parts of the country.

Read more: 50% of staff in Punjab's public, private offices to work from home

Pakistan’s coronavirus positivity ratio has reached 7.5%. It has reported 2,954 new COVID-19 cases in the last 24 hours alone, bringing the tally to 379,883.

Education sector restrictions

It has already been announced by Federal Education Minister Shafqat Mahmood that all educational institutes will remain closed in Pakistan from November 26 till January 10. Students are to study from home.

December 24 is last day of online classes. From December 25 to January 10, students will have winter holidays.

From January 11, schools will resume activities after a reevaluation of cases in the first week of January.

Read more: Coronavirus in Pakistan: Schools will remain closed until January 10, 2021

Professional exams including MDCAT 2020 are to be held as per schedule, while board exams have been pushed to June.

Here’s a province-wise breakdown of the other restrictions placed so far as of 1pm on Tuesday, November 24, 2020.

Sindh

- Indoor dining has been banned in Karachi. It will only be allowed in restaurants that can cater to customers in open spaces. Delivery is allowed. Karachi Administrator Shallwani issued a notification for this Monday night.

- Markets and business centres are to close by 6pm on weekdays. They can open by 6am, but have to stay closed on weekends, the Sindh home department notified on Monday.

- All cinemas, shrines, and gyms will be closed.

- Only essential services will be allowed to stay open on weekends.

- Wearing a mask is mandatory for government and private offices and public places.

- Government and private offices can call in only 50% of staff to work, while the remaining employees are to work from home.

- Outdoor events, including weddings, are restricted to 200 guests. Closed-door marquees and buffets have been banned. Food is to be served in packets and the function has to end by 9pm.

Islamabad

- All educational institutions —madressahs, universities, colleges, and tuition centres — will be closed from November 26. Islamabad Deputy Commissioner Hamza Shafqaat confirmed this.

- Home learning will continue.

- All examinations, except recruitment and professional exams, have been postponed.

- Hostels will only accommodate 1/3rd of the usual number of students.

Punjab

- Smart lockdown imposed in six cities — Bahawalpur, Bhakkar, Multan, Rawalpindi, Sargodha, and Lahore.

- All shopping malls, restaurants, offices (private and public) will remain closed in the areas under lockdown.

- Only one person will be allowed to use a ride in cases of emergency.

- A ban in place on all types of large gatherings.

- Milk shops, meat shops and bakeries will operate from 7am to 7pm.

- Grocery stores, general stores, flour mills, fruit and vegetable shops, tandoors, and petrol pumps will be allowed to remain open from 9am to 7pm.

- Medical stores and pharmacies to operate 24/7.

- Public and private offices throughout the province are to ensure that 50% of the staff works from home. This will be applicable till January 31, 2021.

Balochistan

- Schools to have winter vacations from December to February.

- Any other restrictions have yet to be announced.

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa

The KP government has issued no new coronavirus restrictions this week. Its home department issued SOPs to be followed last week which are still in place.

- All shopping malls, restaurants, shops, and marriage halls have been directed to shut by 10pm.

- Public parks and recreational spots are to close by 6pm.

- Indoor weddings cannot take place, while outdoor weddings are only allowed with SOPs. The guest list cannot exceed 300 people.

- All major public gathering have been banned. Legal action will be taken in case of violations.

- Pharmacies, medical stores and tandoor shops will remain open 24/7.

- Masks have been made mandatory.

- Petrol pumps and LPG shops have been allowed to operate round the clock.

Azad Jammu and Kashmir

- A 15-day lockdown has been imposed by the AJK government since November 20.

- Public gatherings, including weddings, have been banned.

- Religious gatherings and funeral prayers will be carried out under COVID-19 SOPs.

- The government has closed down schools. It is also requesting locals and Kashmiris based abroad to avoid travel.

- All businesses and offices are closed while the government offices will operate at 50% capacity. Only essential services are allowed with strict implementation of coronavirus SOPs.