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Shops cannot be opened in hotspots, liquor to remain closed, MHA clarifies





The MHA, thus has put the ball in the court of respective states. No Liquor or alcohol shop will be opened in any part of the country, as it comes under a separate clause. The MHA has also advocated for mandatory 50% strength of workers in all shops.


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Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) in a latest notification dated 15.04.2020, has cleared confusions and illusions surrounding the guidelines on opening of shops released by MHA earlier. A notification from the MHA has strictly stated, “as specified in the consolidated revised guidelines, these shops will not be permitted to open in areas, whether rural or urban, which are declared as containment zones by respective States/ UTs”. The MHA, thus has put the ball in the court of respective states.

It is to be noted that all shops in rural areas are allowed to be opened except those located in shopping malls, considering they are not in a containment zone. And in Urban areas, all standalone shops in residential complexes and local neighbourhood are allowed to be opened, given that they don’t lie in a hotspot zone. Shops in a crowded marketing complex or shopping malls are not allowed to be opened anywhere.

In view of queries coming from various sections of society, the MHA has clarified that all restaurants, salons & barber shops would remain shut, as their category comes under section 'lockdown restrictions'. No Liquor or alcohol shop will be opened in any part of the country, as it comes under a separate clause. Ministry has notified, “It is further clarified that sale of liquor and other items continues to be prohibited as specified in the National Directives for COVID-19 management”. The e-commerce companies will continue the sale of essential commodities.

The MHA has also advocated for mandatory 50% strength of workers, compulsory wearing of masks and adhering to social distancing norms religiously in all permitted shops. The nature of permitted shops that can open is given in Lockdown 2.0 guidelines released on 15th April, can be read here.

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