The Maharashtra government on Monday announced new guidelines for easing of lockdown curbs in those districts where the Covid-19 positivity rate is low. Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, earlier in the day, said that allowing all segments of society in Mumbai local trains would be difficult “in the first phase" as the easing of curbs is being done slowly.
Speaking to reporters in Sangli, some 230 kilometres from Pune, Thackeray, however, appealed for cooperation from people in those areas where relaxing the norms was not possible currently due to the caseload. He said the Covid-19 situation in all such districts, including Satara, Sangli, Kolhapur, Raigad, Ratnagiri, and Sindudurg, was a “cause of worry".
The restrictions on movement of people will be applicable from 9 pm to 5 am, as per the order.
The Chief Minister’s Office (CMO) clarified that the orders regarding easing of Covid-19 restrictions are not for Mumbai city, Mumbai suburbs and Thane. It also said 11 other districts where relaxations would not be applicable are — Kolhapur, Pune, Sangli, Satara, Ratnagiri, Sindhudurg, Solapur, Ahmednagar, Beed, Raigad and Palghar. The BMC later in the evening issued orders for Mumbai, stating that malls would remain shut in the city, while restaurants will stay open till 4pm everyday.
Here’s what the relaxations for the state look like:
• AII essential and non-essential shops (including shopping malls) to remain open on all weekdays till 8 pm and till 3 pm on Saturday. All shops and malls except essential shops to remain closed on Sundays.
• All public gardens and playgrounds can be kept open for the purpose of exercise, walking, jogging and cycling.
• All government and private offices can be operational with full capacity. Staggering of work hours to be done to avoid crowds while travelling.
• The offices that can function through working from home should continue to do so.
• All agricultural activity, civil works, Industrial activity, transport of goods can remain functional at full capacity.
• Gymnasiums, yoga centers, hair cutting salons, beauty parlors, spa’s can remain open without use of air-conditioners and with 50 per cent capacity till 8 pm on weekdays and till 3 pm on Saturdays. The said services will remain closed on Sundays.
• All restaurants will remain open with 50 per cent seating capacity till 4 pm on weekdays subject to adherence to all Covid-l9 protocols. Parcel and Takeaway to be allowed as is allowed currently.
WHAT’S NOT ALLOWED
• All cinema theaters, drama theaters and multiplexes (independent and inside malls) to remain closed till further orders.
• All places of worship in the state to remain closed till further orders.
• In order to avoid crowding, restrictions imposed on birthday celebration, political, social and cultural events, elections, election campaigning, rallies, protest marches to be continued.
“All Covid-19 protocols such as use of masks, social distancing etc, to be scrupulously followed across Maharashtra by all the citizens. Failure in stringent adherence to the same will result in action on the defaulters under relevant sections of the Disaster Management Act, 2005, the Epidemic Act and Section 1860 of the Indian Penal Code," the order stated.
Speaking on the issue of medical oxygen, the Chief Minister said that as per an estimate, the amount of liquid medical oxygen required in a possible third wave might be double of what was needed in the second wave, when Maharashtra had to procure it from other states.