New Delhi: The Punjab government has directed the state schools to re-open for Classes 10 to 12 from July 26 as it further relaxes COVID-19 restrictions. During a review meeting, Chief Minister Amarinder Singh said, “schools will be allowed to open for Classes 10 to 12, but only those teachers and staff will be allowed to be physically present who are fully vaccinated. The presence of students at schools shall be purely at the consent of parents and the option of virtual classes shall be continued.” If the pandemic situation remains to be under control, the remaining classes will similarly be allowed to open from August 2, the CM announced, pointing out that the UK’s Cambridge University has predicted that the cases will further decline in the coming weeks.
With respect to social gatherings, the government has announced to increase the number of people for indoor events to 150 and outdoor programmes to 300. Earlier, the gathering of 100 persons for indoor and 200 for outdoor events was allowed. Singh said that artists or musicians shall be allowed at such functions or celebrations in all areas, with adherence to COVID-19 protocols. The relaxations came days after the CM had ordered the opening of bars, cinema halls, restaurants, spas, swimming pools, coaching centres, sports complexes, gyms, malls, museums and zoos etc.
Singh had earlier allowed colleges, coaching centres and all other higher education institutes in the state to re-open with similar compliance. During a virtual review meeting of the Covid-19 situation, Punjab chief minister said that the month-wise genome sequencing has shown that more than 90 per cent of Covid-19 cases is due to a variant of concern i.e. the original virus has been practically replaced by variants, and the Delta variant remained predominant even in the month of June. However, no new cases of the Delta Plus variant have been reported, he added.