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Maharashtra amends Covid-19 lockdown guidelines, Petrol pumps, fruit vendors, security services exempted

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Mumbai, Apr 05: Petrol pumps, government and private security services, and fruit vendors among others have been added to the list of essential services being exempted from the ambit of the strict curbs that came into force in Maharashtra from Monday night, as per the revised guidelines.

Maharashtra amends Covid-19 lockdown guidelines, Petrol pumps, fruit vendors, security services exempted

Besides petrol pumps and petroleum-related products, cargo services, data centres, cloud service providers, IT services supporting critical infrastructure and services will also be considered as essential services in addition to the ones mentioned on Sunday when the restrictions were announced.

The strict curbs, including a curfew from 8 pm till 7 am, and prohibitory orders duringthe daytime on weekdays came into force from Monday in the state.

The state government had on Sunday announced a weekend lockdown and night curfew during the weekdays from Monday to April 30, in addition to a slew of other restrictions like the closure of private offices, theatres and salons to curb the unprecedented surge in COVID-19 cases.

The weekend lockdown will start from 8 pm on Fridays and last till 7 am on Mondays. Besides, prohibitory orders will be in force during the daytime on weekdays.

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Meanwhile, organisations like the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), offices of the SEBI recognised market infrastructure institutions like stock exchanges, depositors, clearing corporations and intermediaries registered with the SEBI, will be allowed to remain open on all weekdays from 7 am to 8 pm, the guidelines issued on Monday said.

However, all the personnel attending these offices will have to get themselves vaccinated at the earliest.

Until vaccinated completely, these staffers will be required to carry an RT-PCR negative report, which will remain valid for 15 days.

This rule will come into effect from April 10.

In the absence of the COVID-19 negative certificate, the offender will be fined Rs 1,000.

Other offices that will be allowed to remain open include RBI regulated entities and intermediaries including standalone primary dealers, financial market participants operating in RBI regulated markets, all NBFCs,microfinance institutions etc.

Offices of advocates,custom house agents, licensed multi-nodal transport operators associated with movement of vaccines, life-saving drugs and pharma products, will also be allowed to function, the guidelines said.

Any student requiring to attend the examination physically will be allowed to travel to the examination centre or back home after 8 pm or on weekends subject to carrying a valid hall ticket.

Persons arrivingor departing by trains, buses or flights during the 8 pm to 7 am period or weekends may travel provided they have a valid ticket, the guidelines said.

On Sunday, the government had announced that except for the essential services shops, medical shops and grocery shops, all other shops, markets and shopping malls will remain shut till April 30.

It had also announced that all private offices, except in banking, stock market, insurance, pharma, telecommunication and mediclaim sectors, will be shut as part of these restrictions.

Work from home is mandatory for private offices, except those in local disaster management, electricity and water supply, the statement had said.

Government offices, except those departments involved in COVID-19 management, will function at 50 per cent of their capacity, it had added.

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