Lockdown: Shops barring ones in malls to open, says MHA

Coronavirus Lockdown: Shops barring ones in malls to open, relaxation is not applicable for containment zones, says MHA

Representative image. (Credit: DH Photo)

All shops barring those in malls can now open across the country with the Government on Friday night giving further relaxations in the COVID-19 lockdown.

However, the relaxations are not applicable in hotspots and containment zones. Also, individual states can decide not to implement the order as the April 15 revised guidelines for lockdown allows them to impose stricter measures keeping in mind the local situation.

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According to the amendment to the revised guidelines signed by Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla, these shops, which are registered under the Shops and Establishment Act of the respective state, can operate only with 50% of the workers. They will also have to compulsorily wear masks and maintain social distancing.

All shops, including those in residential complexes and market complexes, in rural areas, can function. However, in urban areas, shops in market/shopping complexes are not allowed while others, including those in neighbourhood shops and stand-alone shops, can function.

 

None of the malls, both multi-brand and single brand, cannot open across the country while the delivery of non-essential by e-commerce continues to be prohibited under the guidelines for lockdown, which has been extended till May 3. The government had on April 19 issued an order reversing its decision to allow e-commerce firms to deliver non-essential items.

Till now, only shops selling essential services like groceries were allowed to open. The move is expected to help the retail traders, as the government moves to open up economic activity.

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The order adds more services to the revised guidelines published on April 15 and additions and exclusions later on April 16, April 19 and April 21.

Earlier, the MHA had allowed selling educational book shops and electric fans as well as inter-state movement of planting materials and honey bee colonies, honey and other beehive products besides prepaid mobile recharge utilities and food processing units in urban areas.

Under the agriculture sector, facilities for export and import such as pack houses, inspection and treatment facilities for seeds and horticulture products are also allowed. Movement within and outside the state of planting materials and honey bee colonies, honey and beehive products are also allowed.