The Kerala government has extended shop hours, and the weekend lockdown will continue.

Thiruvananthapuram: A day after traders threatened to keep their shops open 24 hours a day beginning July 15, the Kerala government announced additional lockdown relaxations. All shops in all local body categories, except D, where the test positivity rate is greater than 15%, can now operate for an additional hour, until 8 p.m.

They will still be allowed to open only three days a week. Weekend restrictions will remain in effect. Except for shops selling necessities, others were only permitted to open on alternate days during the week, for a total of three days per week. There were numerous other stores, such as furniture and home appliances, that were previously prohibited from opening. They are now free to open. On July 12, the Kerala Vyapari Vyavasayi Ekopana Samithi urged the government to allow all shops to open.

A significant relaxation has been announced in the case of banks. Banks that were previously only open on alternate days will now be permitted to operate on all weekdays. The COVID-19 expert panel believed that the alternate day model only increased crowding in banks. This was also a disadvantage with stores. The government, on the other hand, has stuck to the shop model.

Meanwhile, Devaswom Minister K Radhakrishnan will convene a meeting on Tuesday to discuss the possibility of publicising temples.

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