The Maharashtra government on Wednesday decided to allow shopping malls and restaurants to remain open till 10 pm with a 50 per cent capacity from August 15 onwards, provided the entire staff is fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
Kumar Rajagopalan, CEO, Retailers Association of India, welcomed the move and said it will help people to get back to their jobs and save livelihoods. However, he said, some clauses in the government notification are not easy to meet. "This is especially true for the clause which mandates all employees working in a mall, shops in malls as well as customers to be fully vaccinated with a gap of 14 days between the date of joining /visiting the mall and their second vaccination. It is an impractical ask as many people working in malls and stores are in the 20-45 years age bracket and therefore not even eligible for getting fully vaccinated. When their eligibility has not been addressed, how can they resume their duties in malls? And how do malls resume operations without its people? We hope the government rethinks the conditions and modifies the order."