The central government has decided to allow the opening of all registered shops selling non-essential items from today. The Ministry of Home Affairs released its revised notification on the nationwide lockdown late on Friday night.
The tweet by the MHA spokesperson read, “#COVID19 update All registered shops regd under Shops & Establishment Act of respective States/ UTs, including shops in residential complexes, neighborhood & standalone shops exempted from #lockdown restrictions. Prohibited: Shops in single & multi-brand malls.”
All registered shops regd under Shops & Establishment Act of respective States/ UTs, including shops in residential complexes, neighborhood & standalone shops exempted from #lockdown restrictions.
Prohibited: Shops in single & multi brand malls pic.twitter.com/NNz9abgWdA
— Spokesperson, Ministry of Home Affairs (@PIBHomeAffairs) April 24, 2020
The MHA order said, “All shops, including neighborhood shops and standalone shops, shops in residential complexes, within the limits of municipal corporations and municipalities, registered under the Shops and Establishment Act of the respective State/UT, except shops in market complexes and multi-brand and single-brand malls, with 50% strength of workers with wearing of masks and social distancing being mandatory.”
But the order made it clear that these ‘relaxations in lockdown restrictions would not be applicable in Hotspots/Containment Zones.’
Meanwhile, the total death toll related to coronavirus in India has risen to 723 with the number of positive COVID-19 cases exceeding 22,000.
The nationwide lockdown in India to fight the spread of coronavirus first started on 23 March. This was first meant for 21 days but Prime Minister Narendra Modi extended it for another 19 days this month. The current lockdown is expected to end on 3 May.
The MHA had later allowed relaxations in its original order with effect from 20 April. This included the opening of courier services and e-commerce activities but the MHA made it clear that they will not be valid for areas declared as hotspots and containment zones.