People enter Delhi from the Gurugram border on Monday morning.(ANI photo)
People enter Delhi from the Gurugram border on Monday morning.(ANI photo)

From Haryana to UP, people enter Delhi as borders open after curbs relaxed under Unlock 1

Announcing relaxations as part of Unlock 1, Kejriwal had said that malls, restaurants and religious places in Delhi would open from Monday
By hindustantimes.com | Edited by: Amit Chaturvedi | Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON JUN 08, 2020 09:45 AM IST

A day after Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal announced opening of Delhi’s border, vehicles were seen easily crossing into the national capital.

From Haryana to Uttar Pradesh, there was relief for commuters who have to go to the national capital for work or other purposes. Till now, government officials and those with passes were only allowed to enter the national capital.

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The border was closed after lockdown was imposed to check the spread of the coronavirus disease. The curbs were relaxed for a few days during the lockdown, but the Delhi government again sealed the border once the number of cases started increasing. Haryana and Uttar Pradesh governments had also imposed border curbs to stop the spike in cases.

The announcement of opening the border was made by Kejriwal at a press conference on Sunday. Kejriwal, however, clarified that hotels and banquet halls will not open for now because such facilities could be used to treat Covid-19 patients with a rise in infections.

Announcing relaxations as part of “Unlock 1”, Kejriwal had said that malls, restaurants and religious places in Delhi would open from Monday after more than two months since the coronavirus lockdown was imposed, but banquets and hotels would remain closed.

After Kejriwal’s announcement, authorities at several malls appeared undecided about the reopening date. Restaurants in popular marketplaces such as Connaught Place and Khan Market said they will need some time to put in place all arrangements, such as change in seating plans.

A spokesperson of a prominent mall in South Delhi said the shopping centre has drafted its own standard operating procedures (SOPs) in addition to the ones issued by the Union health ministry. “We will need at least two-three days to put all measures in places. A final date will be decided by tomorrow (Monday),” the spokesperson said on the condition of anonymity.

Delhi, which imposed a shutdown on March 23 (two days before the national lockdown), has already allowed the opening of offices - both government and private - and marketplaces, except malls.

A section of city residents expressed concerns over the government’s move. BS Vohra, president of Federation of East Delhi resident welfare associations, said, “The government should reconsider opening all markets and malls... the number of cases has increased manifold.”

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