Chief Editor: Ansar Mahmood Bhatti

Dine-in restaurants, salons to reopen across Pakistan on August 10: Asad Umar


ISLAMABAD : Planning and Development Minister Asad Umar said Thursday dine-in restaurants and beauty salons would reopen across Pakistan on August 10 as the efforts against the coronavirus pandemic seem to bear fruit.

Umar added that a review on the decision to reopen educational institutes on September 15 would be done on September 7. “We are seeing the fruit of our efforts and receiving international praise,” he added.

The minister is speaking in a televised address to the nation as the head of the National Command and Operations Centre (NCOC), the primary body overlooking the efforts against the coronavirus pandemic in Pakistan.

The relevant and revised standard operating procedures (SOPs) would be finalized in two days, he explained.

Umar added that sports and games would be allowed to resume but without spectators, while pillion-riding was also permitted. Travelling in public transport while standing, however, will not be allowed, he said.

While beauty parlors, expo centres, and shrines were being allowed to open, he warned that people should follow the SOPs in large gatherings at the shrines and seek permission from the administration beforehand.

However, the restrictions on passengers in train and planes were to continue until September.

“Passengers will be able to travel on the airplanes in a normal manner from October 1,” Umar said. “The situation was brought under control with the cooperation of the people.

“If we see a change in the attitudes of the people, this situation may change [further]. The SOPs related to Muharram have been set up in consultation with the ulema [religious scholars],” he added.

Here’s a list of dates that various businesses and establishments would be allowed to reopen:

Educational institutes: Sept 15, subject to review meeting on Sept 7

Hotels at tourist destinations: Aug 8

Restaurants & cafes (dine-in): Aug 10

Cinemas & theatres: Aug 10

Public points: August 10

Gyms: August 10

Marriage halls: May be opened by Sept 15

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