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Coronavirus lockdown | Retailers await guidelines from states to open shops

The government said on May 1 that it will extend its lockdown for another two weeks, but with relaxations in several areas that will potentially spring back to life economic activity

May 02, 2020 / 03:58 PM IST
Representative image

Representative image

Retailers are awaiting guidelines from the respective states for reopening stores after the central government relaxed guidelines for the two week lockdown extension.

“Central government has set up the process now it is up to the States to come up with clarification with specific details. So, we are awaiting States to come up with specific details and then we can go ahead and plan for the opening of shops. Nothing can open until States come up with their provision,” said Kumar Rajagopalan, Chief Executive Officer, Retailers Association of India told Moneycontrol.

RAI represents 13,667 member establishments representing 5 lakh stores and employing 43 million people.

The government said on May 1 that it will extend its lockdown for another two weeks, but with relaxations in several areas that will potentially spring back to life economic activity.

The government will continue the strict measures it has enforced in places classified as red zones — such as New Delhi and Mumbai — and orange zones, which show no abatement in the number of people affected by the coronavirus.

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In green zones or low risk areas, some movement of people and economic activities will be allowed, said a statement issued by the Union home ministry.

MHA has also issued new guidelines to regulate different activities in this period, based on the risk profiling of the districts of the country into Red (hotspot), Green and Orange Zones. The guidelines have permitted considerable relaxations in the districts falling in the Green and Orange Zones.

For instance, liquor shops are allowed to remain open in Assam.

On April 30, the Union Health Ministry had designated all major metropolitan cities—Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Bengaluru and Ahmedabad under red zone after the lockdown ends on May 3, and asked states and local bodies to demarcate containment areas and buffer zones for strict monitoring of movement.

As a part of its action plan to effectively lift lockdown in the country, the ministry has released an exhaustive list which splits the 733 districts into red, orange and green zones based on the severity of the disease in each of these areas.

According to the list, there are 130 red zones, where more poignant restrictions will be enforced after May 3. Meanwhile, there will be partial easing in orange zones (284) and liberal easing in the green zones (319).

Uttar Pradesh has the highest number of red zones at 19 followed by Maharashtra (14), Tamil Nadu (12) and Delhi (11).

Among Mumbai's suburbs, Thane, Palghar and Mumbai suburban have been designated as red zones. Pune, Nashik, Nagpur, Solapur, Yavatmal, Aurangabad, Satara, Dhule, Akola, Jalgaon and Raigad are other districts in the no-activity zone.
Himadri Buch

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