Govt Allows Local Shops to Open from Saturday: A List of What Will Open, What Will Not

Photo Courtesy: PTI

Amidst the dark situation emerging due to the impetuous spread of deadly novel coronavirus, the whole nation is in emergency lockdown. All the local shops except essential checkpoints have been completely banned till May 3. But a recent announcement from the Ministry of Home Affairs now becomes as a big relief to shopkeepers and buyers.

From today onwards, all shops in residential complexes can reopen for business after the government issued a clarification on its revised lockdown guidelines during the lockdown in a late-night order. In its Friday midnight order, the Ministry of Home Affairs has permitted the local shops providing non-essential items and services, , except those in shopping malls, to operate from Saturday (April 25) onwards. Keeping in mind certain conditions, the Indian government has made the announcement and revised its lockdown guidelines.

The shops located in residential complexes within the municipal areas, are allowed to reopen with a 50 per cent strength and a strict order to follow mandatory precautions, such as wearing face masks, gloves and maintaining social-distancing guidelines during the lockdown period to confine the rapid spread of coronavirus infection. However, the relaxations are not applicable for the shops in market places, multi-brand, and single-brand malls located in municipality areas, coronavirus hotspots and containment zones, with a large number of positive cases.

For the first time in a month, all local shops (except those in shopping malls) in rural areas that sell both essential and non-essential goods are allowed to restart their services. All non-essential shops like stationery shops, dry cleaners, electrical stores and others are also allowed to function with limited capacity. Shopping Malls, cinemas, shops in markets or market complexes and liquor stores will continue to remain closed.

Home Ministry also made a clear clarification that online businesses by E-commerce platforms will continue to be permitted to deliver essential goods only. According to the government order, the public transport, liquor shops, bars (serving alcohol), and other items will not be operational as specified in the National Directives for coronavirus management.

Here’s a list of what will remain functional and what will remain shut from Saturday:

What will open:

  • All shops within the operations of municipal corporations and municipalities, registered under Shops and Establishments Act of respective states and Union Territories will be allowed to reopen during the lockdown.
  • Shops in registered markets outside municipal corporations and municipalities will be permitted to open only with 50 per cent strength of workers and after taking necessary precautions – wearing of masks, gloves and following social distancing.
  • In rural and semi-rural areas, essencial commodities as well as non-essentials items can be sold in all kinds of stores.
  • In cities or urban areas, non-essential items and services will be functional if they are only standalone shops or in residential areas.
  • The local salons, barber shops, and parlours will be allowed to open amid the coronavirus lockdown.
  • All small shops in the neighbourhood will be permitted to open also.
  • Online businesses by e-commerce platforms will continue to be permitted to deliver essential goods only.

What will remain shut:

  • Shops in market places, multi-brand, and single-brand malls located in municipality areas, coronavirus hotspots and containment zones are not allowed to open.
  • Shopping complexes, Cinema halls, Gymnasiums, sports complexes, swimming pools, entertainment parks, theaters, bars, auditoriums, and assembly halls will continue to remain closed.
  • Complexes with clusters of shops like Delhi’s Khan Market or Mumbai’s BKC and Nehru Place will remain shut.
  • Shops in market complexes, Boutiques in malls are not allowed to open.
  • There is no relaxation for liquor shops.

Coronavirus Cases in India:

India has reported 1,490 fresh coronavirus cases and 56 deaths in past 24 hours, taking the coronavirus infection cases to 24,942 with 779 total deaths so far. This number includes 18,953 active cases, 5,210 patients who have been recovered, and 111 foreign nationals.

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