Public transport such as state-run KSRTC buses, autorickshaws and taxis were back on the roads in Kerala on Wednesday as the left government eased COVID-19 lockdown norms after 54 days.
Private buses operated services in some places in Palakkad and Thrissur districts on Wednesday.
The state-owned Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) hit the roads from 7 am, much to the relief of the public.
As they have to follow social distancing norms, the minimum fare for 2.5 km to 5 km has been raised from Rs 8 to Rs 12.
Only intra-district ordinary service has commenced and there would be no services in containment zones.
The corporation's plan is to operate 1,850 KSRTC buses from Wednesday state-wide, KSRTC Chairman and Managing Director M P Dinesh said.
However, only by evening, it would be clear as to how many schedules were actually operated, he told PTI.
The buses are following social distancing norms and only two passengers are being allowed in a three-seater and no standing passengers would be allowed.
The bus crew drivers and conductors wore masks and passengers were issued tickets after sanitising their hands.
A bus driver said he was carrying his lunch box and water bottle as a matter of abundant caution.
The bus stations have water and soap for enabling passengers to wash their hands and get into the buses.
Boat services have also commenced in various places in Alappuzha district, including Kerala's Rice bowl Kuttanad, which is considered as the lowest region in the country, where paddy cultivation is done 4 to 10 feet below the sea level.
We have been receiving calls to enquire about the timings of the boat services being operated, the boat operators said.
The minimum ticket for boat travel is Rs 8, up from Rs 6 earlier.
In a huge relief for customers, hair saloons and beauty parlours also opened in the state.
At barber shops, customers are being attended only through prior appointment to ensure there is no overcrowding.
The staff wearing masks used sanitised scissors before giving a haircut to customers.
Separate towels are also being used, a saloon owner said adding air conditioning was not being used.
Jewellery shops have also opened with owners hoping there would be no dearth of customers as the marriage season was still on.