With the government easing lockdown restrictions and allowing some stores to open after more than two months, Tamil Nadu is slowly returning to its feet from Monday.
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palanisamy Saturday gave nod for 34 kinds of stand-alone shops (in non-containment areas) to function from Monday, with certain restrictions. Edappadi said after consulting higher officials in the cabinet meeting on May 2 and based on the revised guidelines issued by the Union Ministry, the government decided to provide relaxation in some regions.
As the stores opened on Monday, people in Chennai walked out of their homes for shopping – something they haven’t done in over eight weeks. In some places in Tamil Nadu, large gatherings were witnessed in market areas.
On Saturday, following the government’s announcement, chief secretary K Shanmugam issued a detailed order mentioning guidelines for the stand-alone shops that can operate in the state. Saloon, spas, and beauty parlours are not in the list.
According to the order, tea shops, bakeries, hotels are allowed to function from 6 am to 7 pm. All of them can provide only parcel service.
In the tea shops, social distancing norms should be followed strictly. The shop should maintain hygiene and keep clean by disinfecting five times a day. No customers are allowed to consume food items inside the shops – any violation of these conditions, and the tea shop will be sealed immediately.
Shops selling construction hardware, cement, sanitary ware, electrical materials are permitted to function from 10 am to 7 pm in both urban and rural areas. There will be no restriction on the transportation of construction materials.
All standalone shops selling and servicing mobile phones, computers, household appliances, motors, and spectacles will function from 10 am to 7 pm in both urban and rural areas.
District collectors may decide on the opening of other standalone shops (except malls and complexes) in Corporation and Municipal limits based on the prevailing condition from 10 am to 7 pm.
Fuel Pumps under the jurisdiction of Greater Chennai police will function between 6 am to 6 pm. In other districts, they can operate from 6 am to 8 pm. Fuel pumps in national and state highways will function 24 hours.
Private offices (where standalone air conditioners are used), including construction companies and real estate developers’ back office, will function from 10 am to 7 pm with 33 per cent staff.
For television and film content, not more than five employees permitted for post-production activities like dubbing, editing, DI, re-recording sound design/ mixing, and VFX/CGI. They are allowed to function from 10 am to 7 pm. They should obtain prior permission from the district collectors concerned for employees.
Small jewellery shops (without air conditioners) are allowed to operate in both urban and rural areas. Similarly, small textile shops (without air conditioners) are allowed in rural areas.
Mixie, grinder, TV repair shops can operate, as can furniture shops, road-side trolley shops, laundry stores, courier and parcel services, lorry booking services, photocopy shops, two-wheeler and four-wheeler selling companies/repair works, traditional medicine stores, pest control product shops, tiles showrooms, paint shops, automobile and spare parts shops, nursery gardens, plywood shops and saw mills shops.
Fruits and Vegetable shops and necessary item shops can operate as usual.
The shopkeepers have been told to operate their stores without switching on the air-conditioner. They should ensure that social distancing and other norms issued by the government in its Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) are strictly followed.
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