After midnight order on relaxation, MHA issues clarification
New Delhi, Apr 25: Following its midnight order on opening of standalone shops, the Ministry of Home Affairs has now issued a clarification.
The clarification says:
- In rural areas, ALL shops, except those in shopping malls allowed to open.
- In urban areas, all standalone/neighbourhood shops & shops in residential complexes are allowed to open. Shops in markets/market complexes & shopping malls are not allowed to open.
- Sale by E-commerce companies will continue to be permitted for essential goods only.
- Sale of liquor & other items continues to be prohibited as specified in the National Directives for COVID-19 management.
- No shops to be permitted to open in hotspots/containment zones
The midnight order:
In its midnight order, the Ministry of Home Affairs permitted opening of neighbourhood and standalone shop. These would include those in residential complexes within the municipal areas, but at a 50 per cent strength and after taking necessary precautions in light of the coronavirus pandemic.
However, shops in the market places, multi-brand and single-brand malls located in the municipality areas shall remain shut until May 3. The order signed by Home Secretary, Ajay Bhalla would, however, not be applicable to hotspots and containment zones.
"all shops, including neighbourhood shops and standalone shops, shops in residential complexes, within the limits of municipal corporations and municipalities, registered under the Shops and Establishment Act of the respective State and UT will be allowed to open during the lockdown," the order states.
In case of ships in registered markets located outside the municipal corporations and municipalities, the order permits resuming of operations after following social distancing norms and wearing of masks. However, it would be at 50 per cent strength, the order notes.
Shops will have to follow strict guidelines in order to function.
"All shops registered under the Shops and Establishment Act of the respective State/UT, including shops in residential complexes and market complexes, except shops in multi-brand and single-brand malls, outside the limits of municipal corporations and municipalities, with 50 per cent strength of workers with wearing of masks and social distancing being mandatory," the order by the MHA stated.