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Government allows local shops to open amidst Covid-19 lockdown, malls remain excluded

Government allows local shops to open amidst Covid-19 lockdown, malls remain excluded

In a much needed relief to the public at large, on Friday the government allowed the opening of local and independent small shops within the societal complexes within municipal areas, but at a 50% strength and after imposing necessary restrictions.

However, it was made very clear by Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla, that shops located in marketplaces, multi-brand and single-brand malls will continue to remain closed till the lockdown period is over.

In an amendment of the order issued on April 15, the Union Home Ministry said “all shops, including neighbourhood shops and standalone shops, shops in residential complexes, within the limits of municipal corporations and municipalities, registered under the the Shops and Establishment Act of the respective State and UT” will be allowed to open during the lockdown.”

It is compulsory for the shops to have a 50 per cent employee strength and all employees have to wear masks and practice the norms of social distancing.

The order that comes on the eve of the commencement of Ramzan is being touted as a big relief to people under lockdown.

Shops in registered market places outside municipal areas can also open up shops after strictly adhering to the guidelines and restrictions.

However, single and multi brands shall continue to remain shut down to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus.

These exemptions however will not be applicable in hotspots and containment areas.

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