Opening of Certain Categories of Shops

Opening of Certain Categories of Shops

Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), on 15.04.2020, had issued an order to exempt certain activities under the consolidated revised guidelines to fight COVID-19, in certain areas not included in hotspots/containment zones. Giving relaxation in the category of Commercial and private establishments, MHA has issued an order to all States/UTs, to allow opening of all shops registered under Shops & Establishment Act of respective States/ UTs, including shops in residential complexes, neighbourhood & standalone shops.

It would be mandatory for all permitted shops to open only with 50% strength of workers, ensure compulsory wearing of masks and strict adherence to social distancing norms.

The order issued on Friday amends the previous order issued by the Centre on April 15 which extended the 21-day nationwide lockdown further by 19 days till May 3. It is important to note that these relaxations in lockdown restrictions would not applicable in hotspots/containment zones.

The Revised MHA Order on Permitted Shops:

Outside the limits of municipal corporations and municipalities

  • All shops registered under the the Shops and Establishment Act of the respective State/UT, including shops in residential complexes and market complexes.
  • All permitted shops to open only with 50% strength of workers, ensure compulsory wearing of masks and strict adherence to social distancing norms.
  • Shops in multi-brand and single brand malls not allowed to open.

Within the limits of municipal corporations and municipalities

  • All shops, including neighbourhood shops and standalone shops, shops in residential complexes.
  • All permitted shops to open only with 50% strength of workers, ensure compulsory wearing of masks and strict adherence to social distancing norms.
  • Shops in market complexes, multi-brand and single brand malls not allowed to open.

There was certain amount of confusion w.r.t order and hence later a simplified clarification was issued. Following is the simplified version issued by MHA (PIB Source)

This Order implies 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 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.

Reference:

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