With cases of Covid-19 showing a steady decline in West Bengal, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday announced that restaurants and eateries can open shops between 5 pm and 8 pm. However, she underlined that all the employees of such restaurants must be vaccinated in order to operate for the three-hour period.
“COVID-19 spread is declining in West Bengal following the imposition of restrictions. Restaurants in the state will be allowed to remain open between 5 pm and 8 pm after all their staff gets vaccinated," she said.
The CM took the decision during a meeting with representatives of various chambers of commerce at the state secretariat. She also said her government is not in favour of keeping businesses shut but the restrictions were the need of the hour to stop the spread of Covid-19.
The she, however, urged the restaurant owners to arrange the vaccines for their workers on their own, as she highlighted that the government cannot vaccinate everyone amid the shortage of doses.
“Assume that the vaccine was given to the relief fund," she said while emphasising her request to business owners for inoculating their employees.
The government is also planning for the reopening of shopping malls from June 16 with 25 percent occupancy. The CM, however, said the mall authorities need to ensure if it will be safe to reopen their facilities by that time.
Other relaxations include the opening of book shops till 3 pm, permission for construction activities, and reopening of IT sectors with 10 percent capacity.
Meanwhile, West Bengal reported 8,811 new Covid-19 cases on June 3, taking its tally to 14,03,535. 108 coronavirus-related casualties pushed the death toll to 15,921. While the active infections are 61,780 and 13,25,834 people have been recovered from the disease so far.
The current lockdown in West Bengal will stay in effect till June 5.