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Last updated 6 May 2021

Amidst rising cases wreaking havoc across the state, the raging pandemic has yet again brought Tamil Nadu to a standstill, forcing the government to implement stricter restrictions to curb the deadly virus. 

The government has now announced fresh curbs across the state from May 6, in addition to the already existing night curfew and complete lockdown on Sundays. Here’s everything you need to know about this lockdown: what’s open, what’s not, and who’s exempted.

Tamil Nadu lockdown

The government, had announced new restrictions across the state earlier this week to control the spread of COVID-19, including the closure of several establishments. New COVID-19 lockdown restrictions came into force in Tamil Nadu from May 6 to May 20. 

The state government had earlier announced several curbs, including night curfew from 10 pm to 4 am, ban on tourists at hill stations, beaches, zoos and total lockdown on Sundays with essential services exempted.

What is allowed?

According to the latest guidelines:

  • Restaurants and other eateries will operate only for takeaway services.  
  • IT and related companies should work with just 50% of staff strength by allowing others to work from home.
  • All government and private offices will have to function only with 50% capacity
  • Only provisional stores and grocery shops would remain open till noon (Outlets in malls, however, will remain closed)
  • Tea shops can function until noon only.
  • Department stores are allowed without air-conditioning, permitting only 50% of customers at a time.
  • The maximum limit on people attending events has been capped at 50 for weddings and 20 for funerals.  

E-commerce services like Swiggy and Zomato will be allowed to take food from restaurants which will be allowed to function from 6 to 10 a.m, noon to 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

During the night curfew, the following are allowed:

  • Movement of vehicles for medical emergencies
  • Autos and cabs destined to reach airports and railway stations  
  • Movement of essential services, including milk distribution
  • Newspaper vendors, print and television media
  • Hospitals, labs, pharmacies, ambulances
  • Commercial goods carriers 
  • Petroleum and LPG tankers
  • Petrol bunks 
  • Continuous process industries and those manufacturing essential goods 
  • Employees working night shifts can travel using their private vehicles, provided they have the identity cards issued by the respective companies.

All essential services will be permitted to operate during Sunday lockdown, including vehicles carrying commercial goods, agriculture produce, and petroleum goods. 

Commercial establishments that have been found violating lockdown norms are being locked and sealed by the zonal enforcement teams led by assistant revenue officers of the Chennai Corporation.

What is closed to visitors/attendees?

The government has put a strict ban on:

  • Temples, churches, mosques and all places of worship
  • Beauty parlours, spas, salons, barber shops 
  • Recreation clubs, bars
  • Auditoriums and meeting halls
  • Cinema theatres
  • Shopping complexes, malls
  • Gyms, fitness centers
  • Sports training academies (training is only allowed for national and international players)

Movement in containment zones, where there are more than 10 cases reported in the street, has been strictly prohibited. Only residents with emergency requirements can leave their streets in such zones. 

During the night curfew, the following won’t be permitted:

  • Public and private transport services
  • Autos and cabs, as well as the movement of private vehicles 
  • Inter-state and intra-state movement of public and private vehicles 

As for the Sunday curfew, meat shops, fish markets, vegetable shops and all commercial shops will remain closed. 

Restaurants will be permitted to offer only takeaways between

  • 6 am and 10 am
  • Noon and 3 pm 
  • 6 pm and 9 pm 

Online food delivery platforms like Swiggy and Zomato will be permitted to operate only during those hours. Severe action will be taken against violators. 


Will transport facilities be available?

As per the government’s order, public transport, including inter and intrastate bus services, will not function during the night curfew or the Sunday lockdowns. However, during the rest of the week, public transport services will remain open. 

Transport facilities like rail, metro and bus services will be allowed with 50% passengers only.


Can you travel to/from Tamil Nadu during the lockdown?

While there are currently no restrictions on intrastate travel, 14 days of self-monitoring is compulsory for all travelers arriving into Tamil Nadu from other states/UT. 7 days of Home Quarantine & 7 days of self-monitoring is mandatory for all travelers arriving into Tamil Nadu from Maharashtra & Kerala.

All travelers must download the Aarogya Setu app.


Will Tamil Nadu lockdown be extended?

The government is yet to announce further extensions for complete lockdown in the state. Restrictions may increase only after assessing the effect of the current partial lockdown in the state. 


What is the Tamil Nadu e-Pass and who needs it?

People traveling to Tamil Nadu from other states, except Puducherry, should register themselves in the state portal to avail e-passes for entry. 

All travellers coming from foreign countries to Tamil Nadu by air and ship should also avail the e-pass. 

Follow these steps to receive your e-pass:

  • Visit the TN e-registration website
  • You will need to register yourself before filling the form. Enter your mobile number and the captcha to receive an OTP.
  • Once you enter the OTP, you will be directed to a page where you have to select your mode of transport and type of e-pass you want
  • After selecting the type of e-pass that you require, you need to fill in necessary details such as your name, address, duration of travel, number of passengers, etc.
  • You will need to furnish the required documents for the travel, such as medical records in case of a medical emergency or wedding invitation if the journey is for a wedding.
  • Once the details are filled in, verification will be done. Both documents and ID proof have to be submitted. Once they are confirmed, the e-pass will be processed.
  • You will be required to present your Aadhar Card or Voter ID, PAN Card, address proof, vehicle license and employment ID to avail the e-pass.