Delhi CM eases lockdown curbs; restaurants, malls, markets to open daily from Monday

Delhi CM eases lockdown curbs; restaurants, malls, markets to open daily from Monday

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Restaurants with 50 per cent capacity, weekly markets and religious places will reopen in Delhi from June 14, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal announced on Sunday, saying the COVID-19 situation has significantly come under control in the city. Salons, beauty parlours and barber shops closed since the imposition of lockdown on April 19, will also reopen from Monday, officials said.

“All activities, except certain prohibited ones, will be allowed from 5 am on Monday. There are also certain restricted or partly allowed activities announced last week that will continue,” Kejriwal said in an online briefing. He said markets, malls and market complexes allowed to reopen on odd even basis, will now open on all days, from 10 am to 8 pm. Only one weekly market per municipal zone per day will be allowed, he said.

“We will watch the relaxation allowed to reopen markets and restaurants during the next week. If COVID cases do not increase, we will continue the relaxation, but if cases increase, we will have to bring back the restrictions. “I, therefore, appeal all market associations and others to prevent crowding and ensure social distancing and other precautions,” the chief minister said.

Schools, colleges, educational and coaching institutes, cinema halls, multiplexes, theatres, gyms, spas, yoga institutes, swimming pools, auditoriums, banquet halls, amusement and water parks, and public parks and gardens, will continue to be closed till 5 am on June 21, according to the Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) order issued on Sunday. All social, political, sports, entertainment, academic, cultural/religious, festival-related and other gatherings and congregations, stadia, sports complexes barring those used for training or any national or international event, business to business exhibitions, are also prohibited.

The religious places in the city will also be allowed to reopen from Monday, but visitors will not be allowed, Kejriwal said. He said with declining number of coronavirus cases, the concern now is to bring back Delhi’s economy on track and preparing on a war footing for an anticipated third wave of the infection.

The restaurants are allowed up to 50 per cent of the seating capacity in the city and their owners will be responsible for strict adherence to the prescribed standard operating procedure and government guidelines, including those for COVID appropriate behaviour, the DDMA order stated. “All markets, market complexes, malls and restaurants (up to 50 percent seating capacity) will be allowed to function on trial basis for one week from 5 am on June 14 to 5 am on June 21,” it said A “very close” watch and supervision will be maintained on the overall functioning of markets, market complexes, malls and restaurants by district magistrates, DCPs, and other authorities.

It will be the responsibility of the market and restaurant associations and owners to strictly ensure that the COVID appropriate behaviour and the protocols are strictly followed, it said. If it is found that COVID appropriate behaviour is not being followed in markets, market complexes, malls and restaurants, or if the positivity rate and number of COVID-19 positive people increases in Delhi, these centres will be “closed forthwith without any loss of time” to prevent any upsurge and likelihood of the next wave in Delhi, warned the DDMA.

Only one authorised weekly market (up to the limit of 50 per cent of the allowed vendors at normal time) per day per zone, in all three municipal corporations and New Delhi Municipal Council, Delhi Containment Board, will be allowed subject to the strict compliance of precautions, it said. No weekly market will be allowed on roadsides. It will have to be set up at suitable grounds where precautions against COVID-19 could be maintained.

There will be no restriction on inter-state and intra-state movement of persons and goods, and no separate permission or e-pass will be required for such movements, the order said. The partly allowed activities announced last week and earlier, including opening of government and private offices with 50 per cent staff, marriages at home or in the court, operation of Delhi Metro trains and public transport buses with 50 per cent seating capacity, permission for a gathering of 20 persons during funerals, running of autos, e-rickshaws and other last-mile vehicles, will continue up to June 21 morning, it added.

“I hope our lives will be back on tracks if the Covid cases continue to decline. It is a massive calamity and we have to tackle it together, and hope the cases do not increase now,” Kejriwal added.



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