ISLAMABAD-The Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) administration has allowed all the sectors except marriage halls, marquees, educational institutions and contact sports to open, according to a notification.

The notification issued by the District Magistrate Islamabad said that opening of the sectors is subject to adoption of the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs)/guidelines. It said religious congregations shall be allowed after approval of the ICT Administration and subject to adoption of the SOPs. Similarly, public transport has also been allowed to operate in the city.

The NCOC has also issued SOPs for Muharram 2020, which were developed after consensus of all the stakeholders. According to the authorities, restricted space inside imambargahs and jam-packed processions reduce scope for meaningful social distancing. The SOPs urged the faithful to avoid prolonged activities during the month of Muharram and focus on essential rituals only. The participating strength would be minimised by disallowing children, elderly and other vulnerable groups. Majalis’ venues would be open and spacious with proper ventilation arrangements. Wearing of mask, six feet social distance would be mandatory with thermal scanning at the entry points, according to the SOPs.  

According to the SOPs issued by the Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) administration for resumption of different business in the capital city, touching eyes, nose and mouth with contaminated hands transmit the virus. The SOPs have been issued in consultation with the Ministry of National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination, Islamabad. The SOPs have especially been issued for banquets and marriages, restaurants, tourism industry, cinema and theatre.  

It has been advised to the public to wash hands frequently with soap after touching shared surface like door handles/knobs, furniture, chair arms, tables, computer equipment etc. According to the SOPs, principle of ‘No Mask, No Entry’ should be strictly implemented. The management should keep sufficient stock of masks to provide to the clients and staff as per need. The people would maintain interpersonal spatial distance of 6 feet throughout dining and waiting area. Any unnecessary physical contact, handshake and hugging must be avoided. The hall occupancy in case of cinema and theatre would be limited to 40 per cent of the total occupancy. Online ticketing would be preferred over walk-in window ticketing, according to the SOPs.