With the notice issued by the District Administration Offices of three districts in Kathmandu Valley on September 9, 2020 (Bhadra 24, 2077) (hereinafter referred to as “Notice”), the ongoing prohibitory order has been extended till the midnight of September 16,2020 (Bhadra 31, 2077), with numerous relaxations in the modality. Considering the financial crisis elevating each day, the authorities decided to ease down the prohibitory order that had been issued in order to curb the pandemic infection within the valley.

As per the new eased order, odd-even rule shall be applied to resume the movement of both the private and public (16-seater or more) vehicles within the valley. Public vehicles are not to allow more than one person in a row and not more than half of the capacity of their vehicles. However, taxis are allowed to operate upon carrying only two passengers and two more children of the same family, aged less than five. Upon the operation of such vehicles, the Notice mandates the abidance to the health protocol, including but not limited to sanitization, use of masks and gloves and such. The Notice allows the online delivery services and take-away services to operate from 12:00 pm to 7:00 pm complying with the health protocols. Vehicles supplying construction materials within the valley can operate from 2:00 pm to 7:00 pm and shall not be required to follow the odd-even rule.

Retail shops supplying food items, vegetables, milk and milk products, fruits etc., are allowed to open from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm in addition to the earlier provision to open till 11:00 in the morning. As a relief to the street vendors and pushcart shops, such are allowed to operate till 11:00 in the morning and from 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm in the evening. The same time frame of operation is allowed to the departmental stores, stationaries, electric and electronic stores. Workshops dealing with repair and maintenance of vehicles will open from 8:00 am to 8:00 pm upon compliance with the health safety measures.

The notice provides that private markets are to be opened on fixed days, whereby shopping malls, garment store, shoes store, and such will be open on Monday, Wednesday and Saturday whereas, kitchenware stores and the similar shops shall be allowed to open every Sunday, Tuesday and Friday. Similarly, furniture stores, automobile shops and such will be allowed to open every Monday and Wednesday.

Industries and factories in operation shall be compulsorily required to provide food sustenance and accommodation within the industry premises to the workers and employees, while conforming to the health standards.

Having provided such relaxations, the Notice reiterates the prohibition to the activities with high risk factors, such as mass gatherings, seminars, religious and cultural congregations, operation of educational institutions, party palaces, libraries, entertainment sectors etc., among others. In addition, the order further prohibits the transportation of labourers without complying to the health protocols.

Furthermore, the Notice requires that the people giving their swabs for COVID-19 tests should strictly be home quarantined till the report is received, and such shall be governed by the local authority.

Note: By issuing a notice of clarification, in order to ease the movement of people traveling to foreign countries, the Office has notified that the visa processing centers shall be allowed to operate.

Similarly, through another notice on September 11, 2020 (Bhadra 26, 2077), the Office has permitted the entities to conduct essential examinations including Occupational English Test, TOEFL, GRE, JLFW, IELTS, GMAT, Language Test etc. However, these examinations are to be conducted as per the examination (operation and management) procedures, 2020 of Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, upon complying with health protocol issued by the Ministry of Health and Population.

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