Maharashtra govt extends lockdown in state till August 31
BL Soni

The Maharashtra Government on Wednesday issued a notification extending the lockdown in the state till midnight on August 31. As part of `Mission Begin Again’, the government has, however, allowed opening of malls, market complexes without theatres, food courts and restaurants between 9 am and 7 pm from August 5.  However, kitchens of restaurants and food courts will be allowed to operate in malls, wherein only home delivery through aggregators will be allowed.

Outdoor physical activities are permitted with restrictions. Barber shops, spas, saloons, beauty parlours can operate with the conditions laid down by the state government in its order dated June 25. However, gyms will continue to remain shut.

These activities are permitted in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region including in the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation limits, and municipal corporations of Pune, Solapur, Aurangabad, Malegaon, Nashik, Dhule, Jalgaon, Akola, Amravati and Nagpur. Inter-district movement of persons is permitted within areas of municipal corporations under MMR for essential activities and office purposes. For purposes of shopping, people are expected to use nearby or neighbourhood markets only. Long distance travel for non-essential items will not be permitted. 

The government’s decision comes on a day when COVID-19 cases added to the state’s count in a single day crossed the 9,000-mark, with 9,211 cases, taking the progressive cases count in the state past the 4 lakh mark to 4,00,651 cases. There have been 14,463 COVID-19 deaths in the state till date. While 2,39,755 patients have recovered and been discharged from hospitals, there are currently 1,46,129 active COVID-19 patients in the state.

A notification issued by Chief Secretary Sanjay Kumar said the decision had been taken as an "emergency step to prevent and contain" the spread of COVID-19.

The government’s guidelines come three days after Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, in a two-part interview to Shiv Sena mouthpiece Saamna, had hinted at continuation of the lockdown. He had gone on to say, ‘’I am not Donald Trump and can't see my people suffering.’’

Inter district bus services will be allowed with a maximum of 50 per cent capacity per bus, with physical distancing and sanitation measures. Besides, inter-district movement will continue to be regulated. 

All essential shops, which are allowed to remain open, will continue to do so. All non-essential shops will be permitted to continue as per the relaxations and the previous guidelines issued by respective municipal corporations. All non-essential markets, market areas and shops will remain open from 9 am to 7 pm. Liquor shops will continue to operate if permitted, home delivery or otherwise.

E-commerce activity for essential and non-essential items and material is allowed.

All the industrial units which are presently open will continue to operate, and all construction sites which are allowed to remain open and operational and all pre monsoon works which are permitted will continue.

Online and distance learning and related activities are allowed.

All government offices will continue to operate with 15% strength or 15 persons, whichever is higher. Similarly, all private offices can operate up to 10% strength or 10 people whichever is more.

Activities related to self-employed people like plumbers, electricians, pest control and technicians are permitted.

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