Government of Sikkim’s Home Department announces weeklong lockdown for GMC Area

Government of Sikkim’s Home Department announces weeklong lockdown (September 21-27) for only GMC Area in order to start inter-state movement and resume tourism activities

Government of Sikkim’s Home Department announces weeklong lockdown for GMC Area
Picture Courtesy: Indiaeditor.com

Gangtok, September 19: The Government of Sikkim’s Home Department issued an order dated September 19, where it was announced that there would be a complete lockdown levied only within the Gangtok Municipal Corporation (GMC) Area, beginning from September 21 up till September 27.

This decision came after it had been decided to allow free inter-state movement of people without any requirement of registration, starting from October 1 and to also allow hotels, homestays, and other tourism-related activities to resume operating from October 10. Due to this decision of reopening the state for inter-state movement and tourism-related activities,  it has been considered necessary to take special safety measures to contain the spread of COVID-19 in the GMC area, hence the decision to put only the GMC Area under lockdown. 

It has been decided to prohibit the following activities in the GMC Area from September 21 up till September 27:

For Movement of vehicles and persons

  1. No movement of passenger or private vehicles, which include two-wheelers in the GMC Area. Vehicles carrying persons to carry out essential activities shall be exempted from the production of ID Cards or any other relevant document to show the Police personnel on duty.
  2. The movement of Government vehicles of all officers of the rank of Joint Secretary and above are exempted during office hours on the production of valid ID Cards.
  3. The movement of vehicles carrying essential supplies shall be exempted and empty good vehicles will be allowed to exit from the area.
  4. The movement of vehicles used by officials, the staff of Assembly Secretariat, MLAs of the Sikkim Legislative Assembly, and other officers holding valid passes from the Assembly Secretariat shall be permitted on September 21.
  5. The movement of vehicles used for medical emergency purposes will be allowed based on medical papers. 

 For Commercial Establishments

  1. All shops, shopping complexes, commercial establishments, spas, saloons, vehicle showrooms, gyms, garages, tire repair shops will have to remain closed. However, pharmacies and shops selling essential supplies are exempted.
  2. All restaurants, bars, fast food centres, sweet shops, bakeries will have to remain closed.
  3. All hotels, guest houses, and homestays will remain closed except those exempted by the District Magistrate, East.

For the functioning of Government Offices

  1. The Central Government offices shall continue to function as per the Government of India guidelines.
  2. State government offices will remain open with 30% staff strength during the lockdown duration. Heads of Departments (HoDs) shall ensure that all Gazetted officers report to the office. Pooled vehicles may be arranged by HoDs on a need basis and issuance of 2 passes for this purpose by HoD or the Secretary.
  3. The movement of Government vehicles will be allowed on the production of valid ID Cards during working hours plus-minus one hour daily.

Additional Directives

  1. The Health Department will issue fresh COVID-19 protocol for free inter-state movement of people starting from October 1.
  2. Inner Line Permits for foreign tourists having valid visas shall be issued from October 18.
  3. Tourism Department, with consultation from the Health Department, shall issue SOPs for the operation of hotels, homestays, and other tourism-related activities that will resume operating from October 10. Bookings for hotels and homestays which comply with the SOPs will start from September 27.
  4. Helicopter services shall resume for regular operation from October 1.
  5. Odd-even restrictions for movement of taxis and passenger vehicles shall be lifted from October 1. However, private vehicles will; continue to follow these restrictions until further notice.

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