The Bangladesh Police on Saturday announced that both shoppers and owners must maintain health safety guidelines at all markets and malls across the country to help stem the tide of Covid-19 infections, or face legal action.
This announcement came following the government's earlier decision to reopen all shopping malls and markets from Sunday amid the stricter lockdown, after facing repeated urges from businessmen and entrepreneurs.
Law enforcers have already issued letters to all market owners in this regard, stating that the shops will remain open from 10am to 5pm daily, and the police will take legal action if any owner or customer violates the hygiene rules.
Speaking with The Business Standard, Assistant Inspector General of Police Headquarters Sohel Rana said, "Although the markets are opening as per the government's instruction, the lockdown will remain active requiring people to carry movement pass.
"Shoppers and shop employees will also need passes for commuting," he added.
Commenting on the matter, Bangladesh Shop Owners Association President Helal Uddin said, "We strictly instructed shop owners to follow all health directives."
Meanwhile, Dhaka New Market Shop Owners' Association President Aminul Islam Shahin said, "We will reopen the market for customers on Sunday maintaining all health safety guidelines."
Meanwhile on Saturday, the 11th day of lockdown, Dhaka witnessed a gradual increase in commuters and vehicles on the streets. However, many office goers faced problems while getting to their destination as they did not have their own transportation.
Most of the checkpoints in the capital were also relaxed on Saturday.
Bus, train services may resume after 28 April.
The government has been considering the possibility of resuming public transport after the ongoing lockdown, scheduled to be over on 28 April, according to Road Transport and Bridges Minister, Obaidul Quader.
"The decision might be taken in the greater public interest," the minister said on Saturday on a virtual meeting with BRTA officials.
The measure will be ensured in compliance with Covid-19 health guidelines, where the use of masks and hand sanitizers will be made mandatory, he added.
He continued, "Those who demand higher fares than the amount fixed by the government, and attempt to carry more passengers than 50 percent of a bus's carrying capacity, will be punished."
Also, train service will commence in the country, according to Railways Minister Nurul Islam Sujan.
"All the necessary preparations have been taken in this regard," the minister told the media on Saturday.
Earlier, public transport was suspended on 5 April as part of the countrywide lockdown measures in the face of an alarming surge of coronavirus infections in the country.
Meanwhile, the launch owners have asked the government for permission to resume their service from 29 April. They are currently waiting for the decision of the shipping ministry and Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority (BIWTA).