Restaurants, salons not to open during lockdown: MHA

Coronavirus Lockdown: Restaurants, salons not to open, clarifies MHA

Representative image. Credit: AFP Photo

Restaurants, salons and barber shops will remain closed during the COVID-19 lockdown, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) clarified on Saturday.

The MHA clarification came following queries about whether these facilities will be opened from Saturday. On Friday night, the MHA had announced further relaxation in lockdown norms allowing all shops to be opened barring those in shopping malls.

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"In view of queries coming from various sections of society, it is clarified that all restaurants, salons and barber shops will remain closed. They render services. The relaxations given under lockdown restrictions on Friday pertain only to shops selling items," an MHA spokesperson said.

A senior official said the restrictions on these facilities need to continue to ensure social distancing. Once these shops are open, the official said, it would be difficult to control the crowd there and it will fail the purpose of the fight against coronavirus.

E-commerce companies also cannot deliver non-essential items. So far, only shops essential items were allowed during the lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Officials said the Friday night order allows shops selling garments, mobile phones, hardware and stationery items to open. However, similar shops in malls cannot open.

They said the move will help both the consumers as well as the businessmen. The opening of hardware shops will aid the government's decision to open up the construction sector.

Common people were also facing trouble, especially those with infants and small children with the continuation of the closure of garment shops, as the weather has changed. The clothes needed for small children could not be arranged as the lockdown was announced suddenly on March 24.

The decision to open all shops came following inputs that these are needed as the government has already allowed resumption of industrial activities with limited exemptions.