With the second wave of Coronavirus pandemic setting off alarm bells across the country, the Meghalaya government on Monday held a meeting to review the COVID-19 situation in the State.

Chief Minister Conrad Sangma talking to mediapersons after the meeting, informed that the State government has imposed restrictions on tourists from April 23rd for a period of 14 days. However, locals will be allowed to visit some tourist spots within the state. Restrictions will also be imposed in tourist places that witness high footfall.

The restriction is imposed specifically for tourists coming from outside the state. Protocols have also been laid for residents who leave the state and returnees will be allowed to enter the state only after proper testing.

The Chief Minsiter informed that government and private offices will function at 50 percent capacity while bank, post office and other essential services will function at full capacity.

Shops and commercial activities will continue as normal but they will have to follow COVID-19 protocols and closure notification will be given if anyone is found violating protocols.

As per the new instructions, all schools — from Nursery to Class 12 — will remain closed from Tuesday until further notice. However, exams of Class 10 and 12 will continue as per schedule.

The restrictions have been imposed following the rise in COVID-19 cases in the state, which has been six times higher compared to the first wave of coronavirus.

Sangma further added that weddings and funerals will require prior permission from the Deputy Commissioners of respective districts.

He said that if the situation worsens, the state government will review and take appropriate steps for other areas outside Shillong.

Sangma also mentioned that RT-PCR has been made mandatory for people coming from outside the state and people coming from Northeastern states need to show a negative Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) report.

The chief minister urged people to avoid overcrowding and going to crowded places. He informed that the state government’s focus on vaccination programme will continue aggressively.