The hopes of shopping malls based in Maharashtra have been dashed yet again as the government rolled out a new notification late on Monday which now makes it mandatory for everyone – housekeeping staff, shopkeepers, salespeople and even customers – to be fully vaccinated, for the reopening.
“All shopping malls in the state are allowed to remain open till 10.00 pm on all days, provided all customers or citizens entering in the mall and all employees, including managers and housekeeping staff, must have valid final Covid vaccination certificate of having received two doses and 14 days must have elapsed since the second dose of Covid vaccine. All customers/citizens need to show their final Covid vaccination certificate with photo identity proof at the entry point of the mall,” said the revised notification by the Public Health Department of the Government of Maharashtra.
Earlier last week, the government had indicated that it may allow malls to open if their entire staff had undergone a single dose of vaccination. The development had elated the shopping malls, which are under stress due to the continued lockdown in Maharashtra.
Following the notification, major shopping centres in Mumbai such as Phoenix Mall, Oberoi Mall, Infiniti Mall and Inorbit Mall are shut.
"Most malls have vaccinated their staff with single dose but several people are yet to get a second jab," sources told Moneycontrol.
Last month, the Retailers Association of India had urged the government of Maharashtra to allow the opening of malls claiming that the closure might impact about 2 lakh jobs in the state.
“The prolonged closures have impacted the estimated 50 malls in Maharashtra that employ more than 2 lakh people, generate a business of about Rs. 40,000 crore and contribute Rs. 4,000 crores in GST, per month,” the association had said.
Other states such as Delhi and Uttar Pradesh have allowed the reopening of shopping malls as the second wave of the pandemic ebbs, however, with certain restrictions. Shopping malls in Delhi are open on all days of the week until 8 PM, while in Uttar Pradesh malls can operate till 9 PM on weekdays but have to remain shut on weekends.
Maharashtra Government, however, has in place stricter norms for shopping malls as well as restaurants. Although it has allowed shops outside of malls to operate till 10 PM on all days.