Lockdown in Haryana extended till June 7, shops allowed to reopen
The Haryana government on Sunday extended the lockdown in the state till June 7, but announced relaxations in shop timings and mall operations, chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar announced during a virtual press conference on Sunday morning.
As per the directives, shops in markets are allowed to open from 9am to 3pm on alternative days, based on an odd-even formula. Shops with odd numbers will be allowed to open on odd dates while those with even numbers will open on even dates.
Also, shopping malls are allowed to open from 10am to 6pm, albeit with a limited number of people, depending on the size of the mall. An order issued by the Haryana government stipulated that malls will have to ensure that one person per 25 square feet space is allowed inside such places. Visitors inside the malls would be allowed only for a limited time and fresh entries would depend on the number of people inside the mall at a particular time.
A spokesperson for the Gurugram district administration said that while malls will be allowed to open, they must observe strict Covid-19 protocols. A detailed order will be issued on Monday, the spokesperson said.
“Joint commissioners of the respective zones of the municipal corporations and secretaries of the respective municipal committees shall be responsible for enforcement of these instructions in true letter and sprit and they shall be assisted by the executive magistrates and SHOs of the concerned area,” said Yash Garg, deputy commissioner, Gurugram, who issued directions on Sunday evening.
Officials said that the night curfew will remain in force from 10pm to 5am.
Khattar said that although the Covid-19 situation was improving, the lockdown was extended to prevent any spread of the infection. He said that schools and colleges in the state would remain closed till June 15, while anganwaris would remain closed till June 30.
The order issued by Haryana chief secretary Vijai Vardhan also allowed hotels to open for room occupancy, but barred conference rooms, banquet halls, restaurants and bars in hotels from reopening.
Officials said that stand-alone shops can remain open throughout the day.
Earlier in the morning, Khattar said that they received representations from several market associations, demanding relaxations in the opening of shops, due to which they decided to allow reopening.
The Haryana government had imposed a weekend lockdown in the state from April 30 to May 3 in nine districts, including Gurugram and Faridabad. However, due to the rising number of Covid-19 cases, the state government imposed a statewide lockdown for a week from May 3 and has been extending it weekly. Last week, the government announced relaxations in curbs, which were further extended on Sunday.
Yashpal Yadav, the deputy commissioner of Faridabad, said that shops in markets where numbers are marked would follow the odd-even formula while shops on roadsides, which are not marked, will open on alternate days on the left and right side of the road, as is being followed at present. “The shop owners and malls that are allowed to open must ensure that social distancing norms are followed strictly,” he said
Yadav, however, said that cinema halls, bars and restaurants would not be allowed to open inside the malls, but they can continue serving takeaway food orders, as is the practice at present.