In a reprieve to public at large, the government on Friday night allowed opening of neighbourhood and stand alone shops, including those located in residential complexes within municipal areas, but at a 50 per cent strength and after taking necessary precautions.
The relaxations are not applicable in hotspots and containment zones.
However, the order signed by Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla, made it clear that shops in market places, multi-brand and single brand malls located in municipality areas shall continue to remain closed till May 3.
"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 will be allowed to function," reads the MHA order.
The order further states: "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."
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had on March 24 announced a 21-day nationwide lockdown as a precautionary measure to contain the spread of COVID-19. The lockdown was later extended till May 3.
A total of 23,452 confirmed cases have been reported in India while 4,814 people, who were COVID-19 positive, have recovered or migrated, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said on Friday.
There are 17,915 active cases of COVID-19 in the country as of now, while 723 people have lost their lives due to coronavirus.