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Home / India News / In midnight order, Home Ministry allows neighbourhood shops to reopen

In midnight order, Home Ministry allows neighbourhood shops to reopen

Covid-19 lockdown update: The exemptions will not be given in hotspots and containment areas.

india Updated: Apr 25, 2020 12:31 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
People practising social distance at a shop at near KK market road Dhankawadi in Pune.
People practising social distance at a shop at near KK market road Dhankawadi in Pune. (Rahul Raut/HT Photo )

In a late night move, the government on Friday night permitted opening of neighbourhood and stand alone shops, including those located in residential complexes within municipal areas, but at a 50 per cent strength and after taking necessary precautions in the light of coronavirus pandemic, which has infected over 23,000 and claimed 723 lives so far in India.

The Delhi government, however, wants to put a hold on the order and take a call on April 27.

However, shops in market places, multi-brand and single brand malls located in municipality areas shall continue to remain closed till May 3, the order released by Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) stated. The late night order, undersigned by Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla, will not apply to areas covered under the hotspots or containment zones.

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The order states that “all shops, including neighbourhood shops and standalone shops, shops in residential complexes, within the limits of municipal corporations and municipalities, registered under the the Shops and Establishment Act of the respective State and UT” will be allowed to open during the lockdown.

As for shops in registered markets located outside the municipal corporations and municipalities, the order permits resuming operations after following the drill of social distancing and wearing of masks but with 50 per cent of strength.

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The order issued on Friday amends the previous order issued by the Centre on April 15 which extended the 21-day nationwide lockdown further by 19 days till May 3.

According to the latest order, shops will have to follow strict guidelines in order to function such as mandatorily 50 per cent of the workers will have to wear masks and following social distancing.

As the move by MHA allows functioning of neighbourhood shops on a smaller scale, it still indicates relief for people who have been under lockdown since March 24 to contain the spread of novel coronavirus.

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The single and muti-brands shops will not be operational in these areas.

“All shops registered under the the Shops and Establishment Act of the respective State/UT, including shops in residential complexes and market complexes, except shops in multi-brand and single brand malls, outside the limits of municipal corporations and municipalities, with 50 per cent strength of workers with wearing of masks and social distancing being mandatory” will be allowed to function.

 (With inputs from PTI)

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