As Odisha goes into a 14-lockdown from May 5, the government has relaxed the norms for vehicular movement in order to facilitate smooth movement of people for getting vaccinated, tested for Covid-19 and other important purposes.

The order issued by the state’s Chief Secretary SC Mahapatra states that movement of vehicles shall not be restricted for those travelling to and from one’s place of residence to Covid testing centers, vaccination centers, airport or railway stations, emergency medical requirements, wedding, funeral / last rites, among others.

However, movement of vehicles for these purposes need to follow certain guidelines. Two-wheelers can ply with the rider only whereas four-wheelers, auto rickshaws and taxis can accommodate driver plus two passengers in the back seat.

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The government’s earlier order had banned the movement of public transport during the lockdown period. However, the latest guidelines state that the city bus service provided by Capital Region Urban Transport (CRUT) will be allowed to operate in limited capacity to and from airport and railway stations during the lockdown period. The buses will be operated with up to the seating capacity of the bus only and no standing passengers are allowed.

The state government imposed a 14-day lockdown that will remain in force till May 19, after a spike in the number of coronavirus cases. The weekend shutdown in urban areas will also remain in force till May 15. Residents will be allowed to purchase essential items within a 500-meter radius of their residences between 6 am and 12 pm.

Essential commodities would be made available on all other days of the two-week-long lockdown, barring weekends. Under the weekend shutdown, only medical outlets and hospitals will be allowed to operate. All the educational institutes, entertainment centers, places of worship, sports complexes and gyms have been ordered to remain closed during the lockdown.

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