The shops will have to function with 50 percent worker strength and masks and social distancing will be mandatory

The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on April 24 has allowed all shops registered under the Shops and Establishment Act of respective states and union territories (UTs), including shops in residential complexes and market complexes to function.

The revised guideline was issued under Section 10(2) of the Disaster Management Act and excludes shops in multi-brand and single brand malls outside the limits of municipal corporations and municipalities.

The shops will have to function with 50 percent worker strength and masks and social distancing will be mandatory.

All shops include neighbourhood shops, standalone shops and shops in residential complexes within the limits of municipal corporations and municipalities

Post this, the MHA has issued a clarification, specifying that in rural areas all shops except those in shopping malls are allowed to open. In urban areas, all standalone shops, neighbourhood shops and shops in residential complexes are allowed to open, while shops in markets or market complexes and shopping malls are not allowed to open.

It further clarified that sale by e-commerce companies will continue only for essential items, and that sale of liquor and other such items continues to be prohibited as specified in the National Directives for COVID-19 management.

It further added that these shops will not be permitted to open in areas, whether rural or urban, which are declared as containment zones by respective states or UTs.

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