- Long-haul buses, trains will operate
- Restaurants will provide in-dine services
- Only govt offices, educational institutions to remain shut
- Banks, other financial entities will continue to serve people on a limited scale
- Shops, malls to stay open every day for 10 hrs from 10:00am
The government has extended the ongoing lockdown for one more week to 30 May, easing restrictions on long-haul buses and restaurants.
With this, everything will remain open on a limited scale except for government offices and educational institutions.
According to the changes made, all public transports, including inter-district buses, can run with not more than half of their seats occupied by passengers. Wearing masks and other health safety measures are mandatory for all passengers.
Ahead of Eid-ul-Fitr, buses were allowed to ply within districts carrying passengers to half of their capacity, but long-haul buses were banned. The lockdown was extended after the religious festival with the restriction on long-haul buses in place.
A notice issued on Sunday also said food shops and restaurants can entertain diners but entry must be limited to half of their seats. Until now, in-house dining services were not allowed but businesses could take orders online and provide take-away services.
The Cabinet Division in the notice said the lockdown was extended considering the prevailing situation of virus transmission.
State Minister for the Public Administration Farhad Hossain told reporters that restrictions on public transports and restaurants had been eased thinking of lives and livelihoods and of public sufferings for difficulties in mobility.
He also said all government, semi-government, autonomous, private organisations, banks and other financial institutions would continue providing services on a limited scale as they had been doing.
The government may change its decisions anytime if there is a fresh spike in Covid infections, to ensure health safety and prevent deaths, Farhad said.
But if things remain unchanged or improve, all entities may be allowed to open, he added.
"All decisions have been made following consultations with public health experts. We will monitor if everyone follows the instructions," Farhad said.
In the meantime, Railways Minister Md Nurul Islam Sujan said trains would start operating on Monday following health safety guidelines.
But at first only 28 pairs of intercity trains will ply, with tickets of alternate seats sold. All tickets will be sold online.
As the coronavirus situation took a serious turn in Bangladesh at the beginning of April, the government enforced a seven-day countrywide lockdown from April 5 to stem the tide of the viral disease.
After a two-day break, the country went into an eight-day strict lockdown from April 14.
Later, it was extended in phases to 23 May.
Amid the lockdown, government and private entities have remained closed apart from emergency services. But manufacturing industries have been allowed to continue operations in compliance with health guidelines.
Before Eid, shops and malls got permission to remain open from 10:00am to 8:00pm. That is still in force.