Covid-19: Transition to second phase starts today

All schools across the country will be opened from 25 April

SONAM PENJOR

Thimphu

With the transition of covid strategies to the second phase, the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) announced the timeline for Thimphu and other districts yesterday.

An official announcement was made to the public after successful completion of board exam for Classes X and XII. The board exam which started from 28 February has ended yesterday without any major hurdles.

The press release from the PMO states that starting today until 20 March, movement within the zones without the requirement of cards or having to follow card timing will be allowed.

Similarly, other districts without zoning systems are to maintain the practice at chiwog and gewog levels.

In addition to the existing businesses, the press release also states that bakeries, stationery, hardware and pan shops can operate provided owners reside in the same zone. However, for now, movements of vehicles are not allowed.

Businesses can operate until 7-pm and constructions can resume as long as it does not involve movement beyond their respective zones.

However, starting 21 March until 27, movement within respective mega-zones will be allowed, and in addition to earlier businesses, take-away restaurants can operate until 7-pm. In addition, routine specialist health clinics to be established at mega-zones, however, movement of vehicles will not be allowed.

Beginning 28 March until 3 April, taxis will be allowed to ferry people of same cohort while identified government, corporate and private employees will be allowed to attend their offices, and except for entertainment centres, all other business entities will be allowed to operate.

In addition, the press release also states that, starting 4 April until 10 April, mega-zone movement restrictions altogether will be lifted and movement of private cars will be allowed. The opening up routine services at Jigme Dorji Wangchuck National Referral Hospital (JDWNRH) will also be initiated. Further, from 11 April, all offices to be fully operational.

Meanwhile, all Schools across the country will be opened from 25 April. “The opening date is being deferred by a week from what was announced earlier. This is to ensure that the children attain full immunity after the second dose of vaccination in the first week of April,” the press release states.

Similarly, businesses can operate until 9-pm. The business timing will be maintained and studied for a month, and if the situation doesn’t worsen, it will be lifted along with consideration of opening of all entertainment centres thereafter while all sporting activities will be allowed to resume albeit without spectators.

Meanwhile, starting 25 April, quarantine period for international travelers who are fully vaccinated, with RT-PCR negative certificate will be reduced to five days. However, those who are unvaccinated will have to undergo quarantine for 10 days. 

In addition, domestic travelers from high to low-risk areas will have to undergo five days home quarantine and have to produce RT-PCR negative test results.