New Delhi: In a midnight order, the union home ministry on Friday announced a new set of relaxations, allowing opening of neighbourhood and standalone shops, including those located in residential complexes.
The order comes as a big relief for small-scale traders and businessman after a month of the coronavirus lockdown. The ministry, however, said the new relaxations will not apply to hotspots or containment zones in the country.
According to the order, the neighbourhood shops and tailors can reopen business from Saturday (April 25). However, malls, cinemas and market complexes will remain shut to prevent any untoward situation due to large gatherings.
With the Centre’s fresh guidelines, the Centre has also ended the essential and non-essential goods classification, at least for the brick and mortar stores, as the restrictions on non-essential goods will continue for e-commerce.
Government sources, however, said the states can form independent guidelines to keep tighter restrictions, but not dilute the order to give more relaxations. The Assam government was the first to decide not to implement the order for now, and said it will take a call on Monday.
Here’s what will open from today:
— All shops registered under the Shops and Establishment Act of the respective state and Union territory, including those in residential complexes and market complexes, outside the municipal corporations and municipalities, have been exempted from lockdown restrictions
— Only standalone shops and residential shops can open in cities
— All shops in residential areas and neighbourhood markets will open
— All shops and markets in rural and semi-rural areas that are registered can open
— Standalone tailor shops in residential complexes can open
— Shops in registered markets outside municipal corporations and municipalities can open only with 50% staff, who will have to wear masks and follow social distancing norms
— Non-essential goods and services will be allowed to operate in urban areas only if they are in residential areas or is a standalone shop.
— Market complexes, except those within the limits of municipal corporations and municipalities, can open
Here's what cannot open:
— Malls and cinemas will remain shut
— Complexes with clusters of shops cannot open
— Salons and barbershops
— Shops in multi-brand and single-brand malls outside the limits of municipal corporations and municipalities are not exempted by the new order
— Shopping complexes, shops in market complexes, multi-brand and single-brand malls cannot open
— Boutiques inside malls cannot open
— Liquor shops will remain shut