Updated: August 12, 2021 12:37:03 pm
Further relaxing the COVID-19 curbs, 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. Shops are also allowed to operate till 10 pm.
Talking to reporters after the weekly cabinet meeting, state Health Minister Rajesh Tope said spas and gymnasiums will also be allowed to function till 10 pm at a 50 per cent capacity on the condition that the entire staff at these establishments has taken both doses of the vaccine.
Meanwhile, as per the fresh orders issued by the government, those visiting the shopping malls will also have to carry the final vaccination certificate.
Yoga centres and salons will also be allowed to remain open till 10 pm.
Indoor sports activity will be allowed but cinema halls and places of worship will continue to remain shut until further orders, the minister said.
Weddings in open spaces will be allowed with 200 people, while events can take place in closed halls with 100 people or at a 50 per cent capacity of the venue or whichever is less, he said.
“Shopping malls, hotels, gyms, spas and shops will be permitted to operate till 10 pm, on the condition that the entire staff at these establishments has taken both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine,” Tope said, adding these places will function at 50 per cent capacity.
The state task force on COVID-19 is not in favour of opening schools and colleges from August 17. Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray is scheduled to meet members of the task force to take a final decision.
As per the orders issued on Wednesday night by the state government effective from August 15, holders of the final vaccination certificate approved by the designated authority will be given a railway pass to travel in local trains in Mumbai.
Railway ticket-checkers have been authorised to demand the verified copy of the final vaccination certificate and identity card from passengers.
“Those seeking entry to shopping malls will be mandated to carry their final vaccination certificate and display it before entry. Private offices whose employees are fully vaccinated have been allowed to keep their offices functional at a full capacity but they have to stagger the work hours and keep 25 per cent strength at one time,” the orders said.
This is the third time in this month that the state government has relaxed various curbs, including allowing common people to board local trains, provided they are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
On August 2, the government extended the timings of all shops and other establishments from 4 pm till 8 pm and till 3 pm on Saturdays in 25 districts with a low COVID-19 positivity rate. Shopping malls were also allowed to function.
On August 8, CM Thackeray announced that fully vaccinated citizens of Mumbai can travel in local trains from August 15, but a gap of 14 days from the second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine is necessary to avail of the facility.
Thackeray had said that his government was considering granting relaxations to shops, malls, restaurants and places of religious worship.
The COVID-19 scenario in parts of Maharashtra has improved compared to previous months. As of August 11, the case recovery rate in the state stands at 96.82 per cent.
Maharashtra on Wednesday reported 5,560 new coronavirus positive cases and 163 fatalities, taking the caseload in the state to 63,69,002, while the death toll reached 1,34,364, a health official said. The number of recoveries now stands at 61,66,620, leaving the state with 64,570 active cases.
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