Lockdown: MHA allows standalone and neighbourhood shops to open, restrictions remain in containment zones

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New Delhi [India], April 25 (ANI): The Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on Saturday issued a clarification on its order allowing the opening of shops amid the lockdown imposed to contain Covid-19.

According to the Home Ministry, “In urban areas, all standalone shops, neighbourhood shops and shops in residential complexes are allowed to open. Shops in markets, market complexes and shopping malls are not allowed to open.” And in rural areas, all shops except those in shopping malls are allowed to open.

“The shops in areas which have been declared as containment zones by respective States/ UTs, will not be permitted to open in rural or urban areas,” added the ministry. The Ministry has also clarified that sale of liquor and other items continue to be prohibited as specified in the national directives for Covid-19 management.

The order further states, “It is clarified by the ministry that sale by e-commerce companies will continue to be permitted only for essential goods.”

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.

All services, including public transport, schools, colleges and shopping malls, have been closed so as to stop the transmission of the highly contagious coronavirus.

The Central government is gradually easing down the restrictions which have been put in place.

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