ISLAMABAD - The federal government has announced to lift Covid-19 related restrictions on tourism industry including hotels, restaurants and other associated sectors from tomorrow (August 8).

Federal Minister for Planning, Development, Reforms and Special Initiatives Asad Umar while briefing media here on Thursday after the meeting of National Coordination Committee (NCC) chaired by Prime Minister, said that educational institutions all over the country will likely to reopen from 15th September, 2020. He also stated that to review all arrangements regarding the reopening of educational institutions, a final decision will be made on September 7.

The minister also explained that all restaurants, hotels and cafes will also be opened from 10th August and subsequent Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) will also be issued for restaurants, hotels and cafes.

He also stated that public parks and other recreational facilities and places will also be opened all over the country from 10th August. He said that all sports activities are also being allowed in grounds without audience. Airlines and railways will resume their full operations as well and trains will be allowed to stop at subsequent stations as per schedule, said Asad Umar.

He also underlined that marriage halls will also be allowed to open from 15th September while all businesses centers, expo halls and beauty parlour will also be allowed to open from 10th August. While all routine congregations at mausoleums allowed are allowed to resume, however, for any mammoth gathering, permission should be sought from provincial governments, he added.

The minister said that shops and markets will be opened as per old routine.

He said that all tourism places are being opened from 8th August while theatre and cinemas will also resume businesses from 10th August.

Planning Minister Asad Umar said that Covid-19 pandemic has greatly been controlled due to the effective strategy of the government institutions with public support.

Following the meeting of National Coordination Committee, he said, the people of Pakistan are the real heroes in defeating the pandemic, as they strictly followed the SOPs to check the spread of Covid-19.

He appreciated the untiring efforts of the doctors and paramedics in fighting the pandemic as frontline soldiers.

He said that the strategy of smart lockdown adopted by Pakistan is appreciated by the other countries and they are also learning from experience of Pakistan.

He said that restrictions on already operational trains and airlines will be lifted in October.

Similarly, the road transport will be allowed to operate from August 10 but passengers will not be allowed to travel by standing in Metro buses.

Asad Umar said that SOPs have been devised regarding Muharram-ul-Haram in consultation with the religious scholars.

The minister also underlined that in some countries, cases of Covid-19 are still being reported, which means that the pandemic is still active; public should seek preventive measures against this pandemic.