All markets and shops in Mumbai, which has seen a steady rise in COVID-19 cases, are now allowed to function for "full working hours"except on Sundays, with the city civic body on Tuesday amending its lockdown guidelines in a major relief for citizens. Malls and market complexes will continue to remain shut.
The new relaxations, coming into effect immediately, will not be applicable for containment zones. The civic body also clarified that the curfew announced between 9pm to 5am by the state government will have to be followed.
The number of COVID-19 cases in Mumbai crossed the 50,000-mark on Monday and the fatality count mounted to 1,702, the state government had said.
The relaxations are complementary with the 'Mission Begin Again' or the phase-wise reopening of economic and public activities announced earlier by the government.
"All shops on the one side of the road / lane/ passage will open for full working hours on one day while all the shops of the other side of the road will remain open on the next day and so on," the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) stated in a circular.
It said market or shopowners' associations shall involve themselves for giving effect to the above arrangements and ensure social distancing. Markets, market areas and shops will remain open from Monday to Saturday except on Sundays, it stated.
Earlier on June 2, the BMC had allowed all markets and shops to remain open between 9 am and 5 pm on conditions that they adhere to lockdown norms like sanitising premises and enforcing social distancing for customers.
The civic body has already allowed private offices to operate with 10 per cent of employees. It had also allowed printing and distribution of newspapers in the city.
In the latest guidelines, the BMC clarified that no garden or play area equipment, swings and bars will be allowed to operate during the lockdown period, till June 30. Open air gyms are also not allowed, it stated.
The BMC had on June 2 allowed select physical activities like cycling, jogging, running, and walking at parks and beaches between 5am to 7pm.
The civic body also allowed schools and other educational institutions to function for non-teaching purposes like development of e-content, evaluation of answer sheets and declaration of results.
"However the inter-district movement of persons within the area of the municipal corporation under the MMR (Mumbai Metropolitan Region) shall be allowed without any restrictions," as per the revised guidelines.
Movement of standard labourers, migrant workers, pilgrims, tourists etc. will continue to be regulated as per the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), it said.