Public life returns to ‘new normal’ as Covid restrictions relaxed

The public life has returned to a ‘new normal’ as the government lifted most of the Covid-19 restrictions from today allowing all offices, industrial factories and shopping malls to run in full swing maintaining the health protocols.

The government, however, instructed the public transport owners to ply half of their total number of vehicles daily, allowing those to carry passengers at their full capacity.

On the first day of the ‘new normal’, all offices, shopping malls and makeshift markets across the country became vibrant as a huge number of people joined their workplaces while many others went to receive services after a long Covid-19 strict restrictions.

The capital city got back its usual hectic scenario as the officials of all the government, semi-government and non-government offices, autonomous bodies, banks and financial institutions and workers of informal sectors simultaneously went out of home in the morning for their respective workplaces.

The city roads were seen very busy with a huge number of public and private transports from early morning after 19 days as the government had imposed nationwide strict restrictions from July 23 to August 5, which was later extended till August 10, in a bid to stem the Covid-19 spread.

The city roads witnessed huge traffic congestion while police were seen busy in controlling the traffic in different areas of the capital.

Earlier, the government enforced the nationwide strict restrictions from July 1 for a week, which was later extended for another week till July 14. But it was relaxed for eight days from July 15 to 22 marking the Eid-ul-Azha.

The government, however, issued a notification on August 8 easing the strict restriction, considering the overall condition of the country that took the public life to a ‘new normal’, the term emerged following the Covid-19 pandemic that means the public life would be like the pre-pandemic manner.

As per the notification, all the government, semi-government and non-government offices, autonomous bodies, banks and financial institutions will remain open following health safety guidelines and other rules issued by the government.

Bangladesh Supreme Court will issue necessary instructions for its subordinate courts.

Public transports can carry passengers within their respective capacities on highways, rail routes and waterways. Regarding the transport movement on highways, the local administrations (divisional commissioners in city corporation areas and deputy commissioners at district level) can allow half of their total public transports to run.

Shopping malls, markets and other shops will remain open every day from 10 am to 8 pm. All the industries and factories will also remain open.

Keeping half seats vacant, hotels and restaurants will remain open from 10 am to 8 pm. Mask use must be ensured at all levels following health safety protocols.

If any negligence is found in maintaining the health guidelines in public transport and different offices, markets and bazars, legal actions will be taken against the violators.

Considering the overall condition of the country, the notification said, the ongoing strict restrictions were relaxed to keep the country’s socioeconomic activities smooth.