CM Amarinder Singh had also allowed colleges, coaching centres and all other institutions of higher learning to open with COVID-19 compliance.
Schools for Classes 10, 11, and 12 in Punjab are all set to open from July 26, with Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Tuesday announcing further relaxations, including an increase in the number of people allowed in indoor gatherings to 150 and outdoors to 300, subject to an upper limit of 50% of the capacity.
Taking note of the decline in Covid positivity to 0.3 per cent, with Reproduction number (Rt) at
0.75 for Punjab (lower than the national average), Singh said schools would be allowed to open for classes X to XII, but only fully-vaccinated teachers and staff to be physically present.
The physical presence of the students should be purely at the consent of the parents and the option of virtual classes should be continued. He directed that an undertaking to this effect be submitted to the Deputy Commissioners concerned.
If the situation remains under control, the remaining classes should similarly be allowed to open from Aug 2, the Chief Minister announced, pointing out that Cambridge University predicted that the cases would further decline in the coming weeks.
With respect to social gatherings, Singh said artists and musicians should be allowed at functions and celebrations in all areas, with adherence to due Covid-19 protocols.
The relaxations came days after Singh had ordered the opening of bars, cinema halls, restaurants, spas, swimming pools, coaching centres, sports complexes, gyms, malls, museums, and zoos at 50 per cent capacity with vaccine compliance. He had also earlier allowed colleges, coaching centres and all other institutions of higher learning to open with similar compliance.
The Punjab CM, during a virtual review meeting of the Covid situation, said that the month-wise whole-genome sequencing had shown that more than 90 per cent is 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, he noted that there were no new cases of the Delta Plus variant.
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