Spas allowed to reopen after almost a year by HC, with strict guidelines
The Delhi high court on Thursday allowed spas in the national capital to resume their operations, subject to a slew of guidelines to maintain social distancing. The court also said that the services offered by spas were similar to the salons that have already been permitted to function.
Justice Pratibha M Singh also said that the livelihood of those working at the spas is getting affected for almost a year because of the closure and said that they can be allowed to operate with appropriate safeguards.
According to additional standing counsel Anjum Javed of Delhi government, the court on Thursday ordered that spa employees maintain all the norms of social distancing and should thermally scan themselves every day. He said that the employees should be tested through RT-PCR every 15 days to rule out spread of Covid-19, in compliance of the court’s direction.
A detailed order in this regard is yet to be uploaded on the website of the Delhi High Court.
The court was hearing two pleas moved by several persons who run spas, which have been shut since the first lockdown was enforced in Delhi. They had contended that when a maximum number of businesses, like salons, gyms, restaurants and bars, have been granted permission to reopen and even Delhi Metro restarted, then why were spas being forced to stay shut.
The petitioners have also claimed that the spas in other states were running with full safety measures.
The government had earlier opposed the plea stating that the government has decided not to allow the services of the spas because of the increasing number of the Covid-19 infections in the city.
Listing out reasons for not allowing the spas to re-open, the government had also said that while the final decision of Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) had not been received on the opening of spa, the L-G had declined to grant the permission/ modify status quo as the number of cases were increasing and no physical distancing is possible in the spas.
The spa owners, in their pleas, had contended that even in salons, the six feet distance cannot be maintained while questioning the permission granted to salons to operate. They also alleged that the Delhi government was discriminating against them as only their businesses had not been permitted to reopen.