Union Home Ministry Objects to Kerala Easing Lockdown Restrictions

Kerala will allow local workshops, barbershops, restaurants, bookstores, along with MSMEs in municipal limits, to open.

New Delhi: The Union Home Ministry has taken strong objection to the Kerala government’s decision to allow the opening of restaurants, bus travel in cities and opening of MSME industries in municipal areas, saying it amounts to dilution of its lockdown guidelines.

In a letter to the Kerala government, the home ministry said the state government on April 17 has circulated revised guidelines for lockdown measures which allowed the opening of activities which are prohibited in the Centre’s consolidated revised guidelines issued on April 15.

Such additional activities allowed by the government of Kerala, include the opening of local workshops, barbershops, restaurants, book stores, MSMEs in municipal limits, bus travel in cities and towns for shorter distance, two passengers in the back seat of four-wheeler and pillion riding on scooters.

This amounts to dilution of guidelines issued by the home ministry and violation of its April 15 order issued under the Disaster Management Act 2005, the home ministry said.

The Kerala government has announced the relaxation of COVID-19 lockdown restrictions in two zones, allowing among other private vehicles movement on an odd-even basis and dine-in services at hotels from Monday.

Kerala on Sunday reported two positive cases of COVID-19 in the state, taking the total number of affected to 401 while the health department announced that 13 people were cured.