Considering the global situation and following the advice of public health experts, the government has made quarantine mandatory for all passengers from abroad.
The quarantine procedure would be different depending on the countries they come from.
The Cabinet Division yesterday issued a notification extending the ongoing restrictions until May 5, explaining the quarantine procedures, mentioning the time shops and malls could stay open, and banning entry into Bangladesh from India.
According to the directives, passengers from the Middle East, Singapore, Malaysia and China, who have tested negative for Covid-19 prior to departure and have vaccination certificates, would have to quarantine for 14 days in their homes. They would need to notify their local police stations about their arrival and the quarantine period.
Those who tested negative for Covid prior to departure but do not have vaccination certificates would have to stay in institutional quarantine. After tests (within 3-5 days), they could go for a 14-day home quarantine if doctors allow them to do so.
People from other countries would have to stay at government-designated hotels for their 14-day institutional quarantine. They would have to pay for their stay.
India has been witnessing about 3.5 lakh infections and more than 2,700 deaths every day over the last week. It is also dealing with oxygen shortages.
The government imposed a ban on entry of travellers from India via land, river and air ports. Concerned by the situation in India, the government is mulling more restrictions in Bangladesh in the future.
However, Bangladeshis in India with expired visas can return after taking a release/certificate from the Bangladesh High Commissioner in India.
They too would have to be in a 14-day quarantine. The Health Services Division, Public Safety Division, Security Services Division, shipping ministry and deputy commissioner concerned will take necessary measures in this regard. The notification did not mention where they would need to quarantine.
However, vehicles carrying goods and essentials would be allowed in.
Shops and shopping malls would remain open from 10:00am to 8:00pm ensuring health guidelines, the notification said.
Sources said the government allowed shops and malls to stay open ahead of Eid because businesses were hurting. Shops might be closed again after Eid.
Commerce ministry, labour and employment ministry, trade organisations and bazaar managing committees would take measures in this regard. Legal action would be taken against those found violating the directives, the notification added.
The notification said the religious affairs ministry would decide on Eid congregations. The ministry has urged Muslims to offer Eid prayers at mosques instead of at Eidgahs.
Traffic movement on streets has been increasing significantly day by day.
Congestion was seen at some intersections in the capital, like Bijoy Sarani, Gulshan, Farmgate, Mirpur and also in adjacent areas of shopping centres, like New Market and Bashundhara City Mall.
Visiting some major shopping malls and markets in Dhaka -- New Market, Chandni Chawk, Gausia, Noor Mansion, Chandrima Super Market, and Bashundhara City Mall yesterday, The Daily Star correspondents found customers pouring into the shops from 10:00am.
At most shopping centres, only a few of the health safety guidelines were being followed as the rush was overwhelming.
Many shop owners and customers were seen with their masks down. Besides, there was not enough space inside most shops to maintain physical distancing.
Buses, train and launches have been out of service. Sources said the government had considered allowing buses and trains to run but changed its mind.