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Saturday, September 25, 2021

‘Rules too stringent’: Several malls in Mumbai to shut down for time being

On August 11, the state government had announced its intent of easing lockdown norms and allowing malls to open till 10 pm. The guidelines stated that only fully vaccinated staffers, who completed 14 days after their second dose would be allowed to work.

By: Express News Service | Mumbai |
Updated: August 18, 2021 8:43:20 am
mumbai malls open covid guidelines mumbaiSeveral mall owners said that they would be in a position to fulfil the rules that would allow them to resume operations only in September. (Representative Image)

DAYS AFTER the state government allowed malls to remain open till 10 pm, several malls in the city have decided to shut operations for the time being stating that the condition to deploy only fully vaccinated staff is difficult to meet.

Several mall owners said that they would be in a position to fulfil the rules that would allow them to resume operations only in September.

On August 11, the state government had announced its intent of easing lockdown norms and allowing malls to open till 10 pm. The guidelines stated that only fully vaccinated staffers, who completed 14 days after their second dose would be allowed to work.

Speaking about the Break the Chain — Modified Guidelines that came last evening stating mandatory two doses of vaccination of mall employees and staff, Sachin Dhanawade, Chief Operating Officer (COO) Retail & Real Estate, Grauer & Weil (India) Limited, which operates Growel’s 1O1 Mall in the Kandivali suburb of Mumbai said that they have no option but to shut malls till September end as there are any staff who got both doses.

“The condition relating to mall and retail staff/employees to be fully vaccinated is difficult to fulfil for malls as a large majority of employees and staff fall in the age group of below 45 years of age,” said Dhanawade in a press statement issued on Tuesday.

He said, “Furthermore, the Central government has also extended the gap between two doses for Covishield. Most mall staff is therefore partially vaccinated (one dose) having taken their first dose in the last 30-45 days. In this situation, as a sizeable number of their staff and employees is not eligible to get their second dose malls will not be able to operate before September-end.”

Shopping Centre Association of India (SCAI) in a statement said that malls across the state have decided to close down due to government guidelines.

“In light of the modified guidelines issued by the Government of Maharashtra on 16 August 2021, restraining mall staff from returning to workplace unless they are vaccinated with two doses with a gap 14 days after the second dose, it is unfortunate that malls across the state have decided to close down,” stated SCAI in a statement issued on Tuesday.

In its representations, SCAI has cited its inability to operate due to reasons like more than 80% of the workforce falls in the age group of 18-44 years, belongs to the economically weaker section of the society and only the first dose has been administered based on government guidelines.

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