‘Shops in markets, complexes, malls not allowed to open amid Covid-19 lockdown’: MHA clarifies
“In urban areas, all standalone shops, neighbourhood shops and shops in residential complexes are allowed to open,” the ministry said in its release.Updated: Apr 25, 2020 17:54 IST
The Ministry of Home Affairs on Saturday issued a clarification on its order on reopening of shops amid the coronavirus lockdown. The ministry stated that only standalone shops are allowed to open as per the directive and that the order does not apply to Covid-19 containment zones.
In a late-night order on Friday, the government had said that all neighbourhood shops and those in the residential areas have been allowed to reopen from today, except those in the malls. Only 50% of the staff at these shops will be allowed to work. The staff at these shops must observe social distancing norms and wear masks.
Watch | Covid-19: MHA clarifies on shops that can be opened amid lockdown in India
“All registered shops regd (registered) under Shops & Establishment Act of respective States/ UTs, including shops in residential complexes, neighborhood & standalone shops exempted from #lockdown restrictions,” the order read.
Later in the day, the government clarified that only standalone shops - those not a part of any market complex, a cluster of shops, or those inside malls - shall be allowed to open.
“In urban areas, all standalone shops, neighbourhood shops and shops in residential complexes are allowed to open,” the ministry said its release.
The MHA stated that shops in markets, market complexes and shopping malls are not allowed to open, adding that e-commerce companies are only allowed to operate for the delivery of essential goods and commodities.
“It is clarified that sale by E-commerce companies will continue to be permitted for essential goods only. It is further clarified that the sale of liquor and other items continues to be prohibited,” the directive read.
The MHA stated that those shops and establishments that have been allowed to open as per the guidelines shall remain closed in Covid-19 containment zones.
“Hair salons and barber shops render services. Our order is applicable to shops which deal in the sale of items. There is no order to open barber shops and hair salons. There is no order to open liquor shops too,” Joint Secretary (Home Affairs) Punya Salila Srivastava stated.
Malls, theatres, gymnasiums, sports complexes, swimming pools, bars, restaurants, auditoriums and liquor stores shall remain shut amid the lockdown. Public transport will also remain closed.
The order amended the previous one issued by the Centre on April 15, which extended the 21-day nationwide lockdown till May 3.
On April 14, Prime Minister Narendra Modi extended the 21-day nationwide coronavirus lockdown till May 3. On April 20, states across the country partially relaxed lockdown curbs to allow some business and construction activities to start amid the lockdown. Delhi is one of the states that decided not to allow any relaxation in lockdown measures until May 3.