LG to decide on reopening of spas, Delhi govt tells high court
The Delhi government on Tuesday informed the Delhi high court that it has forwarded the file for the reopening spas in the national capital to lieutenant-governor (LG) Anil baijal, who will take a final decision in the matter.
Justice Rekha Palli said irrespective of when the city government plans to resume spa services, it should consider imposing conditions such as mandatory vaccination of both staff and client, as well as capping the visitor numbers to spas. It granted time to the Delhi government till July 27 to decide on the resumption of services.
The court was hearing a plea by spa owners, who contended that they were aggrieved by the “inordinate delay” in allowing spa centres to reopen. The plea sought directions to the authorities to decide the matter of reopening spas in Delhi within a week.
A lockdown was imposed in Delhi on April 15, to control the second and most deadly wave of Covid-19 that raged on till Mid-May. All spas along with malls, bars, gyms, restaurants and shops were closed; but except for spas, all other facilities were allowed to reopen in a staggered manner in June.
On Tuesday, Delhi government’s additional standing counsel Naushad Ahmed Khan informed the court that the file has been sent to the LG for his final decision and sought time from the court.
Advocate Manik Dogra, appearing for spa owners, said thousands of employees have been affected by the indefinite closure. He said as a precautionary measure, they were ready to get the staff vaccinated before reopening.
The court noted the submissions and posted the matter for further hearing to July 27.
The petitioners have also challenged the guidelines issued by the government on June 26, 2021, through Delhi Disaster Management Authority, by virtue of which salons, gymnasiums and yoga institutions have been allowed.
referring to an order of the high court, passed on January 14, directing reopening of spas that were closed during the first wave of the pandemic, the petitioners said the slightly higher percentage of risk due to the proximity of the client and the service provider can be obviated by prescribing stricter measures and safeguards rather than continuing to keep such establishments closed.