- Cinemas and shrines to also re-open for vaccinated individuals
- Number of people allowed at outdoor weddings increased to 500
As the coronavirus situation eases in Pakistan, the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) relaxed on Friday a number of restrictions, including ending the one 'safe day' curb across the country.
Earlier, shops, markets, and malls remained closed once a week. The new guidelines come into force from Saturday (tomorrow).
During a meeting chaired by Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Asad Umar, the NCOC took a comprehensive review of the existing non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs).
Under the new directives, the NCOC allowed increasing the number of people attending outdoor marriages from 400 to 500.
Indoor marriage gatherings will be allowed for up to 300 persons while cinemas and shrines have been opened for the vaccinated people.
However, the forum made it mandatory for people to carry their vaccination cards on their person while visiting malls, restaurants, cinemas, and shrines.
The implementation of general NPIs will remain enforced from October 16 to October 31. The NCOC will meet again on October 28 to review the situation in the country.
On Friday, Pakistan reported another 1,086 positive coronavirus cases at a positivity ratio of 2.03%. The situation is a massive improvement from June/July when the number of daily cases had shot up to nearly 5,000 a day.
Earlier, the NCOC decided to ease additional restrictions in eight cities across Pakistan after October 1 after they achieved the target of vaccinating 40% population above 15 years of age.
The cities that achieved the targeted vaccination rate are Gilgit, Skardu, Muzaffarabad, Mirpur, Rawalpindi, Islamabad, Quetta, and Peshawar.
On September 28, Umar announced that the government has decided to start vaccinating citizens aged 12 and above.
Earlier this month, the NCOC also allowed all educational institutions to start normal classes. The decision was made keeping in view the improved situation of coronavirus, and the launch of the school vaccination programme across the country.
Pakistan has slowly been rolling back restrictions across the country as the intensity of the fourth wave reduced. Along with its vaccination drive, the country has seen a reduced number of cases with positivity also declining over the past few weeks.
The country intends to vaccinate 70 million people by the end of this year and has also committed to spending $1.1 billion on procuring the Covid-19 vaccine to inoculate its people. Pakistan has been inoculating the citizens with CanSino, Sinopharm, SinoVac, AstraZeneca, Moderna and Pfizer vaccines.