Mumbai: Shops excluding essential goods, medicines, and groceries in Maharashtra will remain close until May 3. This is despite the Union Home Ministry’s order and the subsequent clarification that all shops except those in shopping malls in rural areas and all standalone and neighbourhood shops, and shops in residential complexes are allowed to open in urban areas.
Shops in markets and market complexes and shopping malls are not allowed to open in urban areas. There are about 15 lakh shops across Maharashtra which are expected to remain closed till May 3. Maharashtra Public Health Minister Rajesh Tope said, "Lockdown guidelines will remain unchanged in Maharashtra till May 3. Till the state government takes a decision, the shops will remain closed." The liquor shops, salons, and restaurants will also remain closed till May 3, despite repeated demands from associations of liquor shops.
Federation of Retail Traders Welfare Association President Viren Shah said the shops will reopen only after the government issues notification. "These shops are mainly of non-essential goods including stationery, kitchenware, electrical, and hardware. I have sent an email to Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray seeking the state government’s stand on release of the lockdown for Mumbai and other cities," he added.
Shah informed that he has urged the Chief Minister to allow shops with 50 per cent staff from non-containment zones to restart. The state government sources said as per the revised lockdown guidelines issued last week, the e-commerce companies are allowed to deliver food and medicines but they are prohibited to deliver nonessential goods after the retail traders voiced concerns over it.