Nima Wangdi

With the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) announcing further relaxations of Covid-19 restrictions on April 23, all entertainment centres including movie theaters will resume regular businesses with a 50 percent occupancy starting May 2.

The businesses will be allowed to operate till 11pm, according to a press release from the PMO. The closing time for other businesses will also be extended from 9pm to 11pm.

All indoor and outdoor sports with spectators will be allowed. However, those with signs and symptoms of Covid-19 are discouraged from taking part in the sports activities.

While mass gathering, including religious and cultural congregations will be allowed, 100 should be the maximum. The PMO has cautioned that people must follow the Covid-19 protocols such as wearing of facemasks and washing of hands regularly.

In case, an event involves more than the number of people that is allowed, the organiser must seek clearance from the National Covid-19 Taskforce, the press release states.

However, the five-day mandatory facility quarantine for international travellers will continue until further notice. This, the PMO stated, was to monitor the emerging variants for timely intervention.

Bhutanese travellers, however, will have the option to undergo home quarantine for five days.

The press release stated, “While meetings, conferences, seminars and trainings in person will be allowed, conducting them virtually is strongly recommended to bring about greater efficiency and resource optimisation.”

Although the number of positive cases has increased, the rate of severity remained low at 0.02 percent and hospitalization at less than 20 percent, according to the PMO.

The death rate remained minimal even during the peak of the epidemic and of the total 20 deaths recorded until today, majority (18 deaths) were patients with terminal stage illnesses, and patients on long term palliative care.

This, the press release stated, provided the confidence to announce the relaxations. The phase II (Protection Response) relaxations were announced on April 4.

Meanwhile, the number of Check Post Management System (CPMS) has also been reduced to only 19.

The press release urges the public to abide by the Covid-19 prevention etiquettes.  “This will not only help avoid Covid-19 but also other communicable respiratory diseases.”