Govt allows neighbourhood shops to open from today, but with riders

Ghughuti Bulletin

A month after nationwide lockdown, the Centre has allowed all neighbourhood shops in the residential areas to open if they follow certain guidelines. However, shops in market places, multi-brand and single brand malls as well as market complexes located in municipality areas will remain closed till May 3.

The Union home ministry on Friday said, “all shops, including neighbourhood shops and standalone shops, shops in residential complexes, within the limits of municipal corporations and municipalities, registered under the the Shops and Establishment Act of the respective State and UT” are allowed to open during the lockdown.

The relaxations will not be applicable to coronavirus hotspots and containment zones. Shops are allowed to remain functional only with 50% of the staff. Wearing masks is mandatory for all. Union home ministry added that the social distancing must be strictly maintained.

The ministry also said shops located in registered markets which are outside the limit of municipal corporations and municipalities, can function with maintaining social distancing norms.

The total number of coronavirus cases in India has climbed to 24,506. The death toll has increased to 775. India is under nationwide lockdown till May 3 to curb the spread of the virus which killed over 2 million worldwide. Earlier this week, the Centre eased few lockdown norms in least affected places.

Earlier, the ministry permitted information technology (IT) and IT-enabled services firms to function at 50 per cent strength beginning from April 20.

“These limited exemptions will be operationalised by states/UTs/district administrations based on strict compliance to existing guidelines. Also, before allowing these select additional activities, states/UTs/district administrations shall ensure that all preparatory arrangements with regard to the standard operating procedures (SOPs) for social distancing in offices, workplaces, factories and establishments, as also other sectoral requirements are in place,” Union home ministry said in a circular.

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