The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) ordered the exemption of all shops under the Shops and Establishment Act of States/UTs, including shops in residential complexes, neighbourhood, standalone shops and market complexes.
However, shops in market complexes, except those within the limits of municipal corporations and municipalities, would be allowed to open. Shops in single and multi-brand malls would also not be allowed to open anywhere.
“It would be mandatory for all permitted shops to open only with 50 per cent strength of workers, ensure the compulsory wearing of masks and strict adherence to social distancing norms,” the MHA said.
It may be mentioned that these relaxations in lockdown restrictions would not applicable in hotspots/containment zones.
The local salons and parlours will be allowed to operate from April 25th, 2020. In rural areas, all shops, except those in shopping malls are allowed to open.
It is further clarified that the sale of liquor and other items continues to be prohibited as specified in the National Directives for COVID-19 management.
On the other hand, Assam Police requested the citizens to wait for the State government to issue an official notification regarding the opening of the shops.
Assam ADGP (Law and order) G P Singh tweeted, “Reference Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India direction regarding opening of shops of certain categories – please wait for Government of Assam instructions in this regard. “
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had on March 24th, 2020 announced a 21-day nationwide lockdown as a preventive measure to contain the spread of the highly contagious novel coronavirus (COVID-19). The lockdown was later extended till May 3rd, 2020.