Life has started limping back to normal in various green and orange zones of Jammu division as most of the shops and business establishments reopened amid certain restrictions on Wednesday after nearly two months of the coronavirus-induced lockdown.
The Jammu and Kashmir administration had permitted resumption of many activities, including opening of markets, private offices and limited vehicular movement, in green and orange zones besides banks, private hospitals, liquor shops and restaurants for home delivery in the Union Territory while extending the lockdown till May 31.
The easing of the lockdown restrictions followed fresh categorisation of 20 districts.
While eight districts of Kashmir, including Srinagar, and three districts of Kathua, Samba and Ramban in Jammu were declared as red zones.
Four districts of Doda, Kishtwar, Poonch and Rajouri in Jammu division have been categorised as green, while five more districts -- Bandipora and Ganderbal in Kashmir and Reasi, Udhampur and Jammu -- were declared as orange zones.
Most of the shops and business establishments reopened in the green and orange districts with people seen maintaining social distancing and the shopkeepers also offering sanitisers to the customers, officials said.
"We welcome the government decision but everyone had to play his or her role to prevent the spread of coronavirus, otherwise the effort of the prolonged lockdown will go in vain, Vipin Gupta, a shopkeeper said.
In separate orders issued by Chief Secretary B V R Subrahmanyam, who is also chairperson of the state executive committee, the administration announced additional relaxation in green and orange zones but said strict restrictions will continue in the districts which have been declared as red zones.
However, air travel (except medical emergencies and security purposes), trains, inter-state and inter-district buses will remain prohibited in Jammu and Kashmir, the order said.
It said the movement of individuals for all non-essential activities between 7 pm and 7 am will remain prohibited, urging persons above 65 years of age, with co-morbidities, pregnant women and children below the age of 10 years to stay at home except for meeting essential requirements of health purposes.
Among other activities permitted in the Union Territory include all agriculture, horticulture and animal husbandry-related activities, e-commerce and courier services, canteens or eateries at bus stands, railway stations and airports.
The government has also given permission for the opening of liquor shops, banks and salons in all areas except within the limits of municipal corporations in red/orange zones.
It has also allowed marriage-related functions but with not more than 50 people by maintaining social distancing.
However, permission will be required for holding marriage functions in red zones, the order said, adding that funerals will be permitted with not more than 20 persons.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)