The Ministry of Home Affairs on Saturday announced in a major decision that all shops under the Shops and Establishment Act, among which include shops in residential complexes and market complexes, be excluded from the revised consolidated lockdown restrictions. However, it has been asserted that these relaxations will not be applicable in areas that have been declared to be as coronavirus hotspots and containment zones.
The Ministry of Home Affairs' order is as follows: "All shops registered under the Shops and Establishment Act of the respective State/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, with 50 per cent strength of workers with wearing of masks and social distancing being mandatory,".
The MHA order further goes on state, "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 Union Territory, except shops in market complexes and multi-brand and single-brand malls, with 50 per cent strength of workers with wearing of masks and social distancing being mandatory."
The nationwide lockdown was first announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to be in effect from March 25 to April 14 for a period of 21 days. However, the lockdown was extended till May 3 due to the sharp number of COVID-19 cases across the country with the total number of positive patients climbing to 24,506. India has recorded 1,429 coronavirus cases in the last 24 hours with 57 deaths taking the total toll to 775 and over 5,000 recoveries reported so far.
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