Lock down: Centre allows small shops to open, Ball in states’ court

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After one month centre allowed small shops with some exceptions and conditions to open
After one month centre allowed small shops with some exceptions and conditions to open

TNW, New Delhi, April 25: In a late night notification on Friday, the central government has allowed small shops to start their operation on the conditions of employing 50% staffs and complying with social distancing as well as safety norms.

According to the notification issued by home ministry, in rural areas all shops except those situated in shopping malls will be allowed to function. On the other hand, in urban areas only stand-alone shops along with those situated in residential complexes such as tailor shop, barber shop, beauty parlour, stationary etc will be permitted. Malls, shopping complexes and liquor shops will remain closed while baring essential goods the restrictions on e-commerce companies will remain in place.

However, the notification has explicitly clarified that there will be no relaxations in ‘hot spots’ and containment zones; the shops will remain closed in such specified areas.

The ball is now state governments’ court as they are going to decide whether to partly or completely implement the relaxations notified by centre. They could even decide to continue with the ongoing restrictions though the likelihood of states taking such strict measures is little as the impact of corona virus in all states is limited in few areas. Therefore the strategy of maximum possible restrictions in hot spots and containment zone will suffice the purpose.

With gradually easing out the centre is clearly hinting that it is moving ahead in the direction of the lock down exit plan. The second phase of the ongoing lock down is going to end on 3rd May.

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