Shops, shopping malls to remain open till 5 pm

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Dhaka, May 04: The government has decided to allow keeping shops and shopping malls open till 5 pm maintaining health guidelines during the general holidays extended until May 16 considering Ramadan and Eid-ul-Fitr.The Cabinet Division issued a gazette notification in this regard on Monday, saying various emergency services will be out of the purview.

“Shops will be allowed to remain open to do business on a limited scale. But all have to maintain distance and follow health guidelines during buying and selling. Big shopping malls will have to make arrangements for hand washing at their entrances and disinfecting vehicles entering the malls,” the gazette notification said.

The government has extended the general holidays from May 7 until May 16 in a bid to tackle the worsening coronavirus situation in the country.

The gazette notification said May 6 will be considered as a public holiday for Buddha Purnima while May 8 and 9 and May 15 and 16 will be included in the general holidays as those are weekly holidays.

Vehicles and workers employed in various emergency services, including electricity, water, gas, energy, fire services, land, river and seaports, telephone and internet, and post offices, will be out of the purview of the holidays. Besides, goods-laden vehicles and cargo vessels will be allowed to ply as usual.

Those who are engaged in processing of agricultural products, insecticides, foods, industrial goods, kitchen markets and pharmacies will remain out of the restriction, said the notification.

Physicians, health workers, vehicles for transporting medicines and other medical equipment, and media workers will remain out of the purview of the holidays.

Educational institutions will remain closed as before, the notification added.

During this period, the movement of people and plying of vehicles from one district to another and one upazila to another will be monitored strictly. Local administrations and law enforcement agencies will monitor it strictly.

People have been asked to remain in their respective homes and refrain from going outside without emergency purpose from 8 pm till 6 am, it said.

Bangladesh Bank will issue necessary directives regarding banking hours considering the continuation of business activities ahead of Eid.

All ministries and divisions can open their offices as per their necessity and no one will be allowed to leave their workplace during the Eid-ul-Fitr holidays, said the notification.

All inter-district transport will remain suspended during the holidays.

On March 23, the government declared general holidays from March 26 to April 4, aiming to prevent the transmission of coronavirus.

Later, the holidays were extended five times until April 25 – first from April 5 to April 9, then from April 10 to April 14, later from April 15 to April 16, from April 17 to April 25 and finally until May 5.

The government closed all the academic institutions and shut down transportation to tamp down the spread of coronavirus.