Covid-19: India allows shops to function with conditions


Amending its April 15 order, 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 Shops and Establishment Act of the respective State and UT’ will be allowed to open during the lockdown.

Although the order is inclusive of shops in residential complexes and market complexes it avoids shops in multi-brand and single-brand malls.
‘With 50 per cent strength of workers with wearing of masks and social distancing being mandatory,’ says the order.’In Sub-clause 1 (x), the term’shopping complexes’ is replaced with ‘market complexes within the limits of municipal corporations and municipalities,’ it added.

In addition, the order makes inclusions in sub-clause (xiii) and (xiv) under Clause 14 on commercial and private establishments to include all shops registered under the Shops and Establishment Act of the respective states and union territories.

Here are the guidelines of the order:
-Local salons and parlours will be allowed to operate from Saturday.

-Big shops/brands/market places will remain shut.

-As for liquor shops, the MHA has clarified that alcohol comes under a separate clause and not under the shops and establishment act.

-The order further clarifies that it is not applicable to shopping complexes and malls but only to local shops registered with the municipal corporation.

– All markets in rural and semi-rural areas will be open (non-essential items can be sold in all kinds of shops in a rural area).

– Market complexes in urban (municipal) areas such as Lajpat Nagar or Nehru Place in Delhi cannot open for business,

– Non-essential goods can be sold in urban areas, provided that the shop in question is located in a residential area or is a standalone shop (provided that the shop is registered under the Shops and Establishment Act).

-Issued a little before midnight in India, the order follows the Ministry of Home Affairs’ order number 40-3/2020-DM-I(A) dated April 15, 2020.

-Since it fails to mention the situation concerning containment zones, the order does not allow shops in areas identified as containment zones or hotspots to open for business.

-All businesses which are still not allowed to open are part of Clause X which includes cinema halls, malls, shopping complexes, gymnasiums, sports complexes, swimming pools, entertainment parks, theatres, bars and auditoriums, assembly halls etc.

-The three-week lockdown imposed on March 25 was extended to May 3 as India seeks to control the coronavirus outbreak.