Fight against COVID-19: Central government allows shops to open.

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The Indian government has allowed specific categories of shops to open in the country from Saturday. In this regard, the central government has eased the prevailing lockdown norms to an extent. Thus, rural areas can open all types of shops, but not the ones in the malls. Similarly, all standard shops, neighborhood shops, and shops in the housing complexes in the urban areas can open. However, shops in market complexes and malls in urban areas will stay shut.  Hotspots and containment zones will continue to remain under strict lockdown norms, without any fresh relaxation. Shops in single or multi-brand malls can not open anywhere.

The shops will have to run with fifty percent of staff strength with masks, mandatory.

India is under lockdown since March 25 to check COVID-19 spread. The Ministry of Home Affairs has revised its earlier lockdown norms of April 15 today to open the shops.

MHA has issued an order to the states and UTs to allow the opening of all shops registered under Shops & Establishment Act of respective States/ UTs, including shops in residential complexes, neighborhood & standalone shops.

The order further states, shops in market complexes, except those within the limits of municipal corporations and municipalities, would be allowed to open.

India went to total lockdown for 21 days from March 25 following the onset of the COVID-19 threat. It was to end on April 15. But, the situation forced India to continue with it for another 19 days.

The second phase of lockdown has relaxations in a phased manner based on the situation assessment. At first, the activities in agrarian and small industries got permission on April 20.

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