Restricting inter-district movements until 16 May, the government Wednesday issued a notification saying buses, trains and launches with Eid holidaymakers will not leave Dhaka before the upcoming Eid-ul-Fitr like the previous year.
In the six-point notification, the government said all public, autonomous and private office staffers will have to stay in the workstations during the Eid holidays.
In May last year, there were similar movement curbs on Eid holidaymakers who usually celebrate the biggest religious festival for Muslims at their ancestral villages with families and friends. However, the restrictions were relaxed a bit ahead of Eid-ul-Azha in August.
But staying in the workstation was not specifically made mandatory last year.
After a brutal resurgence in the virus infection curve, the country has been witnessing a downturn since last week. On this year's movement curbs on Eid celebration, health directorate sources said the government is concerned about the record Covid-19 fatalities in neighbouring India despite the infection calming down in Bangladesh.
The notification said shopping malls and markets will remain open as per previous schedule 10am to 8pm maintaining the virus safety rules. If any negligence in following health guidelines is found, the market that ignores the virus safety will be shuttered immediately.
According to the notification, though the inter-district bus services will remain suspended, intra-district public transports will be plying following health rules from Thursday.
But, long haul buses, trains and launch services will remain suspended as usual.
The circular said wearing face masks in public will have to be ensured. There will be mobile courts to take legal action against the defaulters.
Besides, all social, political and religious gatherings will remain banned.
Transport owners-workers reminded about virus safety
After three consecutive weeks of closure, public transport owners and workers in Dhaka are taking preparation to resume services from Thursday.
Following the government decision, the Dhaka Road Transport Owners Association has announced resuming intra-district buses services from Thursday morning.
The association has asked transport owners, workers and passengers to follow the health safety guidelines that were already in place before the movement curbs were enforced.
It said the buses will not pick any passenger without a face mask. Transport owners will provide the workers with face masks. Half of the occupancy of the vehicles will be left vacant – which means the next seat of a passenger will remain empty.
The association said buses will not carry any standing passengers.
To tame the coronavirus resurgence, Bangladesh imposed a week-long movement restriction – which is widely called a lockdown – from 5 April. The restrictions were extended until 5 May.
The government, however, lifted some of the restrictions, including allowing markets and shopping malls reopening.
On 26 April, the country sealed its border with India for 14 days as Covid-19 had taken a dangerous turn in the neighbouring country. Health minister Zahid Maleque said the border will remain closed until the virus situation improves in India.
On Wednesday, mobile courts were conducted at many places in the capital to raise mass awareness. A mobile court led by executive magistrate Sanjib Das fined 16 persons Tk5,900 in Dhaka's Eastern Plaza and Motalib Plaza for flouting virus safety and not-wearing masks.