Updated: August 12, 2021 7:16:50 am
Weekend relaxation on Saturday has been allowed in Noida and Ghaziabad in view of declining Covid cases across the state. As per the latest government orders, regular movement of persons can take place between 6 am to 10 pm on Saturdays from the coming weekend onwards. The night curfew and Covid lockdown on Sunday will continue to function in the districts, officials said.
A review meeting was held among state government officials to take a decision regarding Covid guidelines. The Home Department has issued instructions to district officials to ensure that Covid appropriate behaviour and protocols are followed on exempted days. The officials are mulling on allowing movement on Sunday as well, in the coming weeks.
The move has come as a major relief to traders, businesses and other commercial establishments in the region. With festival season approaching, shopkeepers were missing out on a major chunk of revenue since weekends witness maximum rush in markets. A trend had been observed in the last two months that residents of Noida and Ghaziabad preferred to travel to Delhi for shopping due to convenient timings which dented business in the districts.
“We had earlier written a letter to the CM requesting that the weekend relaxation needs to be allowed. It is a given fact that there is a large chunk of working people and they step out during weekend offs. If those customers go to Delhi, they will become loyal to those businesses and we would lose out. We are hoping nearly 70% of our sales will return due to this move. Our next expectation is that we are allowed to run businesses on Sunday as well,” Sushil Kumar Jain, President Sector 18 Market Association.
The hospitality industry had also been waiting for the specific relaxation given the increased footfall in adjoining cities. “This is a good start and a welcome step. The restaurants have to function within a specific time during the week. On a general level, the weekends account for nearly 40% of our business. This industry has suffered a lot in the last two years and anything that helps us retain normalcy is necessary. The restaurants will ensure Covid protocols so as to maximise this coming season,” said Anurag Katrirar, President National Restaurant Association of India.
Both Noida and Ghaziabad have been reporting zero cases in the last week with less than 15 active cases.
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