Authorities will on Monday ease several curbs in Chennai, the capital of Tamil Nadu, which was under intense lockdown from June 19 to fight the spread of the coronavirus disease.

Tamil Nadu chief minister K Palaniswami had on Saturday announced relaxations for Chennai and extended curbs for Madurai and nearby regions till July 12.

The government issued a separate set of guidelines for areas that fall under the limits of Greater Chennai police and for neighbouring districts. There are certain activities which are prohibited throughout the state till July 31 midnight.

The government has said vegetable and grocery shops can open from 6am to 6pm from the earlier 6am to 2pm in Chennai and in the suburban areas under the jurisdiction of Greater Chennai Police.

Restaurants can continue with takeaway services only but they can remain open till 9pm from the present 2pm. Tea shops could resume functioning and operate from 6am to 6pm but only takeaway services would be permitted.

All kinds of showrooms and other businesses, including textiles and jewellery, can be back in business from 10am to 6pm. The restrictions and relaxations applicable prior to June 19 will come into force again.

Businesses and commercial establishments were allowed to function by following safety measures, including social distancing, till June 18.

The intense lockdown clamped from June 24 in Madurai city and several nearby areas, including Paravai town panchayat and a number of village panchayats, would continue till July 12.

Only essential services would be allowed to function in these regions and no kind of activities shall be permitted in containment zones.

Besides Chennai and Madurai, several relaxations as part of Unlock 2 are applicable in other parts of Tamil Nadu.

The government had earlier announced that there will be a complete shutdown on all the four Sundays in July throughout Tamil Nadu.

The lockdown was imposed on 19 June in four districts including Chennai, Kancheepuram, Tiruvallur and Chengalpattu with permission for essential services only.

The state government had also imposed an absolute lockdown on two Sundays—June 21 and 28—that fell during the stipulated period.

Tamil Nadu has 107,001 cases of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) and 8,671 people lost their lives after contracting it.