In a huge relief for both buyers and shopkeepers, the government in a late-night order said that shops in the neighbourhood of residential areas can now open. However, they will have to follow strict safety norms.
The relaxation was made by the Union Home Ministry in a late-night order – that says masks, gloves and adherence to social distancing norms will be mandatory. Moreover, shops that are in shopping malls have been exempted from the order.
“All registered shops regd (registered) under Shops & Establishment Act of respective States/ UTs, including shops in residential complexes, neighborhood & standalone shops exempted from #lockdown restrictions,” the Ministry of Home Affairs said in a late-night order, adding that “shops in single and multi-brand malls” are not be exempted.
The shops will have to operate with only 50% of workers and shops in the containment and hotspot zone can’t open.
India’s coronavirus doubling rate, as per a report by the government, has improved from 7.5 days to 10 days. The government added that this states that the lockdown has been successful.
India currently has more than 23,000 people infected with coronavirus and over 700 have died due to the highly contagious illness.
Update at 10:50 AM
While shops across the country can open as per the aforementioned order, the Delhi government has put a stay on the same.
A senior Delhi government official told Hindustan Times that the UT will first trace the situation and will then decide whether the relaxation should be given or not. The decision will be taken on April 27.
Delhi government had earlier decided not to give any relaxation in lockdown even after April 14. “The view in the government for now, is to continue with its policy of no more relaxations till April 27,” a Delhi government functionary said.