The government has extended the ongoing general holidays till May 30 to curb the spread of novel coronavirus in the country.
During this period, the movement of public transports will be strictly controlled. Also, the government employees have been ordered to stay at their work stations.
The Ministry of Public Administration today (Thursday) issued a gazette notification on extending the general holidays.
The gazette notification said, "During the general holidays from May 17 to May 28, the movement of people is prohibited/restricted. The government holiday for Shab-e- Qadr on May 21, the weekly holidays of 22th, 23th, 29th and 30th May and the holidays for Eid-ul-Fitr from May 24-26 will be considered as the general holidays and the restrictions will be applicable for these holidays as well."
This is the seventh time the general holidays have been extended.
The government has allowed shops to reopen on a limited scale on the occasion of the upcoming Eid. In this case, the health directives given by the government to maintain social distancing must be followed strictly.
The shopping centres or malls must have arrangements for washing hands. The shops and malls have to keep hand sanitiser during trading hours. The vehicles entering shopping malls must be disinfected and all shops must close by 4pm.
During the shutdown, travel from one district to another, or one upazila to another will be strictly controlled. People must stay home to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus. No one is allowed to come out between 8pm and 6am unless it is an emergency.
According to the government directives, people associated with agricultural goods, fertiliser, pesticides, food, industrial goods, material for government projects, kitchen markets, food, medicine shops, hospitals, and emergency services will be excluded from the purview of the restrictions.
Medicine, production and export-oriented industries can reopen their factories upon ensuring workers' safety and health issues. After assessing the situation, the sectors associated with the industries, agriculture, production and supply will be gradually reopened.
All academic institutions must be closed during the general holidays. The Bangladesh Bank will issue directives on the banking system for easier business considering the month of Ramadan and the occasion of Eid-ul-Fitr. All ministries and divisions will open the offices in their jurisdictions if needed and issue directives.
The gazette notification also said no one could leave their work stations during the general holidays. Movements of all public transports on roads, passenger carrying vessels in the waterways, trains and domestic flights are prohibited during this time. Only goods-carrying vehicles and the transports dedicated for emergency services can operate on highways.
The notification also said that the existing rules are also applicable for the Eid-ul-Fitr prayers. There should be no big gatherings in open places. The Ministry of Religion will issue directives in this regard later.
Earlier, on March 23, the government initially declared a 10-day general holidays from March 26 to April 4. Later, it was extended till April 11 and then to April 14. It was then extended to April 25 in the fourth phase and later, to May 5 and then till May 16.