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Businesses Allowed to Operate Between 6am and 7pm From Monday to Friday

The Sindh home department has issued an amended notification to lay down the standard operating procedures (SOPs) for the resumption of economic activities.

“Whereas there is a declared pandemic of COVID-19 that has afflicted many countries including Pakistan and which requires adequate steps to contain the spread of disease, the Government of Sindh has, from time to time, issued orders to contain the disease,” the notification reads.

It adds that the Supreme Court in its directions dated April 13 and May 4 in a suo motu case directed that a uniform policy be adopted at the national level. In this regard, a meeting of the National Coordination Committee (NCC) on Monday deliberated, discussed and decided on the future course of action during the COVID-19 emergency with the objective of opening up economic activities and focusing on compliance with the SOPs by the concerned businesses, persons and general public so as to prevent the spread of COVID-19 while such economic and other activities are undertaken.

The notification reads that the government of Sindh, in view of the decisions of the NCC and in exercise of powers under the Section 3 (1) of the Sindh Epidemic Diseases Act 2014 (The Sindh Act VIII of 2015), has ordered that the educational and training institutes, marriage halls, business centres, expo halls, indoor sports clubs, gyms, indoor and outdoor sporting tournaments, restaurants and cafes excluding takeaway and home delivery, theme and amusement parks, beauty parlours, cinemas and theatres, shrines, public processions and gatherings of all nature, and tourist hotels will be closed.

It reads that in view of a petition by transporters being heard by the Sindh High Court, public transport shall be opened after due meeting of transporters with the transport minister today (Tuesday).

“The provincial government and district administration, by an order, may restrict all and any activity in areas which are considered to be hotspots for the spread of COVID-19,” the notification clarified.

According to the notification, the business timings in Sindh, except for pharmacies and essential services, would be between 6am and 7pm from Monday to Friday.

The notification called on the people to avoiding coming out of their houses unnecessarily. It also reminded the people that it was mandatory to wear masks at any public place and keep a distance of over three feet between two persons at all times. It also called for frequent hand washing, use of hand sanitisers, and adherence to distancing protocols while travelling by any transport and to all the SOPs at offices.

“It must be reiterated that the threat of disease spread has not subsided, and rather increased, and more strict adherence to SOPs is required than ever before,” reads the notification.

“Any person/owner/manager engaged in any permissible activity or operation found violating any of the instructions contained in this order including SOPs issued by the government shall be liable for action,” the notification warned, adding that business units found violating the above instructions may be closed.

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