With the Maharashtra government announcing further relaxations in coronavirus curbs in 25 districts showing a low positivity rate of the infection, the state has also extended the existing business timings of shops and allowed shopping malls to operate in these districts.
The Mumbai civic body has also decided to allow all shops to remain open till 10 pm on all days and okayed the resumption of shooting for films and television serials besides sports activities.
All the shops and establishments under the BMC limits can now remain open till 10 pm on all days of a week, however, restaurants and hotels can function till 4 pm only, the order issued late Monday night said.
In the 25 districts, not including Mumbai, the revised relaxations came into effect today.
All shops and other establishments which are currently allowed to operate till 4 pm can now remain open till 8 pm and till 3 pm on Saturdays, it said. Non-essential shops will have to remain closed on Sundays, the order said.
The Maharashtra government has also allowed shopping malls to open and operate as per the new guidelines. Outlets such as yoga centres, spas, salons and gyms can operate with 50 per cent capacity and without the use of air conditioning, the order said.
Many traders in the state and the opposition BJP have been demanding that the timings of shops be extended till 8 pm from the current deadline of 4 pm.
Shops and restaurants in the remaining 11 districts (out of a total of 36), where the coronavirus caseload is high, will continue to operate under existing restrictions. As per the existing rules, shops and restaurants in these districts are allowed to operate till 4 pm on weekdays. But they have to remain shut on weekends.
These districts are Kolhapur, Sangli, Satara, Pune, Ratnagiri, Sindhudurg, Solapur, Ahmednagar, Beed, Raigad and Palghar.