06/09/20: Unlocking Phase III

We are happy to be proceeding to the third phase of unlocking, which starts at 5am tomorrow.

Medically, those who get the infection start becoming symptomatic by second or the third day. It peaks around the end of first week. So far, we have not recorded new cases or major outliers, which is comforting. However, this does not mean we have come out of the risks.

Therefore, as we see more relaxations tomorrow, it is important we don’t drop our guard.

Alongside, we have come to a point where we need to re-think about our actions, reconsider our priorities and redefine our responsibilities. More now than ever, our roles have transcended beyond the homes and workplaces, and visibly into the community and the country that is living far from customary experiences.

With this, as we step outside and resume works, let us all be guided by a new set of standards and habits.

Unlocking phase three

Note: The following activities are not applicable to higher risk areas that include Phuentsholing, Gelephu, Samtse and Samdrupjongkhar. The areas are determined by zoning arrangements, where the unlocking will take place in more sustained manner. Local taskforces will share the updates as and when required.

1. Starting 5am tomorrow, movement of private vehicles, in addition to the public transportations, is allowed but strictly within the district.

2. All cars should carry only half the capacity, unless one is accompanying a child or an elderly of the same family. But we urge you to travel only if you have to.

3. Except for those in higher risk areas specified above, all offices will resume tomorrow, and strictly operate within the COVID-19 protocol.

4. With increasing number of people seeking to travel, which heightens the risk, and thus calls for containment of possible infection within the particular district, facilitation of the movement of stranded people will be discontinued in all districts, except for Phuentsholing town.

5. For those stranded in Phuentsholing town, a mandatory three-day quarantine and testing systems have been put in place. The Southern COVID-19 taskforce will continue to facilitate their travels out of the town in keeping with the SOP.

6. All inter-district movements will be allowed starting September 11, with prior registration. Registration portals are being created, which will be announced soon. It will include online registration, help-line calls and physical registration at identified offices or nearest check posts as you travel.

7. Additional shops like electronics, printing and furniture are being added to the earlier essential list of business entities that can operate. Those with higher risks, like the barber shops and saloons, non-essentials like garment and footwear, should remain closed in this phase.

8. Movements are limited to essential ones. No public gatherings or outdoor activities like picnic, hiking, or visiting spiritual sites are allowed.

Note: The government will closely monitor the developments on the ground. All agencies and business entities are requested to ensure COVID-19 protocols are strictly followed at all times.

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