New Delhi, Apr 25
The Centre has issued an advisory allowing select shops to function within and outside municipal limits with effect Saturday. In a fresh addendum to its April 15 lockdown guidelines, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) said all shops, except those in market complexes and malls, will be allowed to open in urban areas. This is defined by “neighbourhood shops, standalone shops and shops in residential complexes” in urban areas governed by municipalities.
In rural areas, all shops, except shopping malls, have been allowed to resume operations.
These rules do not apply to Covid-19 containment zones and hotspots.
The new order comes as a big relief for traders as well as residents after a month of the Nationwide lockdown, which is due to end on May 3.
However, the Government left the decision independent to States to decide whether they want to continue with the restrictions. Delhi and Assam, for example, have said they will decide in two days whether to reopen shops.
In India, over 24,500 people have been infected and 775 deaths have been reported, so far.
The new guidelines reiterate that no more than “50% strength of workers” is allowed and “wearing of masks and social distancing” is mandatory.
Here is a look at what has reopened:
* Shops registered under the Shops and Establishment Act of the respective State/Union Territory, including shops in residential complexes and market complexes, outside the municipal corporations and municipalities, will be allowed to open.
* In rural and semi-rural areas, all shops and markets that are registered can open. In cities, only standalone shops and residential shops can open.
* Standalone tailor shops in residential complexes can open.
* Shops in registered markets outside municipal corporations and municipalities can open only with 50 per cent staff.
* In urban areas, non-essential goods and services will be allowed to operate provided they are in residential areas or is a standalone shop.
* Market complexes, except those within the limits of municipal corporations and municipalities, are allowed to open.
What will remain shut
* All domestic and international air travel of passengers, except for purposes enumerated in para 4 (ix), and for security purposes.
* All passenger movement by trains, except for security purposes.
* Buses for public transport.
* Metro rail services.
* Inter-district and inter-State movement of individuals except for medical reasons or for activities permitted under these guidelines.
* All educational, training, coaching institutions etc. shall remain closed.
* All industrial and commercial activities other than those specifically permitted under these guidelines.
* Hospitality services other than those specifically permitted under these guidelines.
* Taxis (including auto rickshaws and cycle rickshaws) and services of cab aggregators.
* All cinema halls, malls, shopping complexes, gymnasiums, sports complexes, swimming pools, entertainment parks, theatres, bars/liquor shops and auditoriums, assembly halls and similar places.
*Supply of non-essential goods via e-commerce platforms will continue to be banned during the lockdown period
* Salons, barber shops will not be allowed to open
* All restaurants will remain closed
* All social/ political/ sports/ entertainmen/ academic/ cultural/ religious functions/ other gatherings.
* All religious places/ places of worship shall be closed for public. Religious congregations are strictly prohibited.
* In case of funerals, congregation of more than twenty persons will not be permitted.
The Indian Express