New Delhi: Delhiites can visit their favourite markets now, but temples remain shut, as do schools and other educational institutes. They can get haircuts and a manicure, but a spa day is not an option just yet.
The Delhi government Monday released its guidelines for the new phase of the Covid-19 lockdown, two days after the Ministry of Home Affairs allowed states and union territories to open pretty much everything from 8 June as part of an exercise dubbed ‘Unlock 1’.
According to the MHA guidelines, the nationwide lockdown in containment zones will continue until 30 June but extensive relaxations, including opening of religious places and shopping malls in a phased manner, can kick in from 8 June.
However, in Delhi, shopping malls, cinema halls, swimming pools and gymnasiums, entertainment parks, theatres, bars and auditoriums , assembly halls, and religious places will continue to remain shut.
Hotels and hospitality services, including restaurants, will remain shut. However restaurants can operate their kitchens for home delivery and takeaway.
Schools, colleges, and other educational institutions will also remain closed, and Metro services will stay suspended. The MHA guidelines had stated that the government will decide on opening schools and other educational institutions in July, in consultation with states and union territories.
Non-metro forms of public transport, including autos, cabs and e-rickshaws, can now run full capacity. Buses will continue to ply, but only with 20 passengers.
The Delhi government has stated that in buses, DTC as well as cluster ones, boarding should only be allowed from the rear door and deboarding from the one at the front. Passengers on buses will also have to undergo thermal screening. For other vehicles, drivers have to ensure that the passenger seating area is disinfected after they disembark.
Delhi has also decided to open all shops and marketplaces in accordance with the central government order. “We were following odd-even rule for shops in markets but the central government has not stated any such rule, so all shops can open now,” said Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal at a press briefing Monday.
Barber shops and salons have been allowed to operate but spas will still remain closed. Government and private offices can also operate in full capacity, although work from home should be encouraged by the companies, the CM said.
Delhi has also decided to seal its borders for a week to contain the spread of the virus. “Delhi government to implement all relaxations permitted by Centre. But for now, we have decided to seal the borders for a week. Only those engaged in essential services and having passes will be allowed,” said Kejriwal.
Delhi will also follow the central government’s curfew timings of 9 pm to 5 am, this is the window when the authorities want almost all public activity to cease.
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