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New Delhi, April 25, 2020
The Government has allowed the opening of all registered shops, except those in malls and those in market complexes in municipal limits, as part of the easing of the lockdown restrictions announced on April 15.
The nationwide lockdown, imposed for 21 days on March 25 to contain the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, was extended for another 19 days from April 15 till May 3.
Under the latest order from the Ministry of Home Affairs, issued late on Friday, all shops registered under the Shops and Establishment Act of the respective State or Union Territory, 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 will be allowed to open.
Within the limits of municipal corporations and municipalities, all shops, including neighbourhood shops and standalone shops and shops in residential complexes, registered under the Shops and Establishment Act of the respective State or Union Territory, except shops in market complexes and multi-brand and single-brand malls, will be allowed to open.
The shops will be allowed to function with 50% strengthen of workers with wearing of masks and social distancing being mandatory, the order said.
These relaxations in lockdown restrictions would not applicable in hotspots/containment zones.
The order has allowed the opening of these shops by amending the Consolidated Revised Guidelines issued by the Ministry on April 15, 2020.
The order has been sent to the Chief Secretaries of the states and Administrators of Union Territories for implementation.
The order also amended sub-clause 1 (x) of the Consolidated Revised Guidelines, by replacing the term "shopping complexes" with "market complexes within the limits of municipal corporations and municipalities".
Clause 1 of the Consolidated Revised Guidelines contains the list of activities that will continue to remain prohibited across the country until May 3.
This morning, the MHA issued a clarification to make it clear that in rural areas, all shops, except those in shopping malls are allowed to open. In urban areas, all standalone shops, neighborhood shops & shops in residential complexes are allowed to open. Shops in markets/market complexes and shopping malls are not allowed to open, it said.
"It is clarified that sale by e-commerce companies will continue to be permitted for essential goods only.
"It is further clarified that sale of liquor and other items continues to be prohibited as specified in the National Directives for COVID-19 management.
"As specified in the consolidated revised guidelines, these shops will not be permitted to open in areas, whether rural or urban, which are declared as Containment Zones by respective States/ UTs," the release added.