Rajesh Rai | Phuentsholing

The second phase of lockdown relaxation for Mega Zone 1 and 2 in Phuentsholing commences today.

About 35 restaurants and five grocery shops from these two mega zones have volunteered to operate from these two zones. Including the staff, about 57 people were tested for Covid-19 and are waiting for results.

The regional director with the trade office in Phuentsholing, Sonam Dhendup said that they will verify the results and let them open their businesses, accordingly.

“They sat for the RT-PCR test,” he said.

According to the Southern Covid-19 Task Force (SC-19TF), restaurants will be allowed to open for take-away orders today. Grocery and medical shops will be allowed to open. All these business entities will be allowed to open from 8am to 7pm.

The integrated vegetable market will open at 50 percent capacity.

Construction activities will also start under self-containment mode. Operation of factories and industries will also start in self-containment mode.

This phase of relaxation will continue until August 9.

During the first phase of relaxation, identified shops were allowed to open in respective sub-zones. Few other shops in strategic locations that sold baby products, sanitary pads, including book stores and hardware were also allowed to open.

Meanwhile, there are still some confusions among residents about the movement as some shopkeepers are in different sub-zones while their shops are in other sub-zones, especially, in the core town. The movement from one sub-zone to another is restricted.

For this, the trade regional director said that people will be given one-time movement. Shopkeepers can come to the shop and operate, but they will not be allowed to return home in the evening.

The first phase of relaxation in Mega Zone 1 and 2 was given on July 27, after the conclusion of the second dose of vaccination on July 26.

Relaxation started much earlier in Mega 3, which covers Pasakha, Ahlay and Pekarzhing. This zone didn’t have Covid-19 cases for more than 21 days and the vaccination drive commenced earlier than in Mega Zone 1 and 2.

Meanwhile, a restaurant owner, Karma Tshering Dorji said that there were not many customers during the first phase of relaxation (seven days), which ended yesterday.

“I think it is because people from other Mega Zones are not allowed,” he said.

He also said that there may not be many customers today as complete movement of people is not allowed. Restaurant owners will spend cleaning their spaces, he added.

Edited by Tshering Palden