The government has decided to reopen shopping malls, all types of shops and other businesses from May 10 on a limited scale ahead of the Eid-ul-Fitr.
Those would remain open from 10:00am to 4:00pm every day, a gazette of the Cabinet Division said yesterday.
It said people should stay at their present locations during the Eid holidays and that they should be barred from travelling to their homes in other districts and upazilas.
The directives came hours after the Cabinet Division issued another gazette, extending the ongoing general holidays from May 7 to May 16, reports UNB.
The circular said the government has decided to allow keeping shopping malls, all types of shops and other businesses open maintaining health guidelines during the general holidays considering Ramadan and Eid-ul-Fitr.
"Shops will be allowed to remain open to do business on a limited scale. But all have to maintain distancing and follow health guidelines during buying and selling. Large shopping malls will have to make arrangements for washing hands at their entrances and disinfecting vehicles entering the malls," it added.
The two circulars were published hours after Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said the government directed the authorities to open markets and shops so that people did not face any problem to have iftar and sehri and they could buy goods ahead of the Eid.
Addressing public representatives and officials from eight districts of Rangpur division through videoconferencing from the Gono Bhaban, she said the government would provide cash assistance before the Eid to those who lost their jobs amid the coronavirus outbreak to ease their sufferings, reports BSS.
The Cabinet Division in the first gazette said all educational institutions would remain closed during the extended public holidays.
The ministries and divisions can open their offices as per their necessity and no one will be allowed to leave their workplace during the Eid holidays, it mentioned.
All factory authorities, including medicine industry and production and export-oriented industries, could keep their factories open ensuring safety and healthcare services for the workers, said the notification.
It also said services of all inter-district transport would remain suspended during the holidays.
On March 23, the government declared general holidays from March 26 to April 4 to slow the spread of coronavirus in the country. Later, the holidays were extended five times until May 5.
Shopping malls across the country also remained closed since March 25.
Speaking to public representatives and officials from Rangpur division, the prime minister yesterday said many people have taken loans from banks.
"But realising their loan interest has been suspended for two months as they [people] had no work and business in the last two months due to the pandemic."
Hasina said the government would take the next steps in this regard considering who have taken what amount of loan and for which sector.
The PM said the leaders and activists of Awami League, Krishak League and Chhatra League stood beside framers and helped them harvest their paddy.
"They are also engaged in the distribution of relief among the distressed people and I thank them sincerely for doing this."
She also thanked the health workers, including doctors and nurses, officials of the administration, members of the armed forces and law enforcement agencies, saying that they have been working round the clock to contain the spread of the disease, putting their lives at risk.
Pointing out that a number of media persons have already been infected with Covid-19, the PM requested them to perform their duties by protecting themselves.
Referring to transportation of goods, she directed the railways minister, who joined the video conference from Panchagarh, to take effective measures for transportation of all types of goods and food grains, particularly the perishable items, by trains.
About seasonal monga (a famine-like situation), which was once a common phenomenon in Rangpur region, the premier asked the authorities to take special measures so that the monga does not return.
PM's Principal Secretary Ahmad Kaikaus moderated the views-exchange meeting which was joined by the secretaries concerned.