In what could be a huge relief to shopkeepers and buyers, the government, in a midnight order, allowed , including those located in residential complexes within municipal areas.

However, the shops will mandatorily have 50 per cent strength of workers wearing of masks and following social distancing.

“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,” the Ministry of Home Affairs said in its order.

What will remain open:

  • As per the government order, all the shops registered under the Shops and Establishment Act will remain open. 
  • The government has also allowed neighbourhood shops, standalone shops, and shops in residential complexes, within the limits of municipal corporations and municipalities.
  • Shops that will be located outside the municipal corporations and municipalities can open only with 50 per cent strength and taking all precautions.
  • In rural areas, all shops, except those in shopping malls are allowed to open.
  • In urban areas, all standalone shops, neighbourhood shops and shops in residential complexes are allowed to open.

What will remain closed:

  • Cinema halls, mails. shopping complexes, gymnasiums, sports complexes, swimming pools, entertainment parks, theatres, bars and auditoriums, assembly halls will remain closed.
  • Shops in multi-brand, market complexes and single-brand malls will remain shut.
  • Big shops, brands and market places will be closed.
  • Liquor shops and bars will stay shut.
  • The government has not allowed local salons and parlours to remain open from Saturday.

NOTE: 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 and UTs.

The government, however, has made some rules for the shops that will be allowed to operate from Saturday. Following are the mandatory rules that the shops will have to follow:

  • Shops that will be within and outside the limits of municipalities and municipal corporations will mandatorily have 50 per cent strength of workers.
  • All the workers will have to wear masks and must practice social distancing.

Opening of neighbourhood shops is being seen as a relief to people who have been under lockdown since March 24 to contain the spread of novel coronavirus. The Home Ministry order comes on the eve of Muslim holy month Ramzan. However, the exemptions will not be given in hotspots and containment areas.

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