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Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Delhi Covid unlock plan: All your questions answered

Technically, the city will remain under a limited curfew as only limited relaxations are being offered for the time being, the Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) said in an order, pointing out that the situation is "still precarious".

Written by Sourav Roy Barman , Edited by Explained Desk | New Delhi |
Updated: June 6, 2021 1:58:42 pm
Delhi was put under a lockdown from April 20. (Express Photo by Amit Mehra)

The national capital, which has witnessed a significant dip in Covid-19 cases and deaths in the recent past, will be unlocked from Monday with easing of restrictions across sectors including markets and metro services, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal announced Saturday.

Kejriwal emphasised that it was time to revive the city’s economy, which has taken a severe beating due to the restrictions imposed in the wake of a severe Covid-19 wave that brought Delhi to its knees.

The city was put under a lockdown from April 20. Metro services, however, were suspended only from May 10. Technically, the city will remain under a limited curfew as only limited relaxations are being offered for the time being, the Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) said in an order, pointing out that the situation is “still precarious”.

Will all shops, malls and markets reopen starting Monday?

According to the DDMA order, aIl malls, markets and market complexes (except weekly markets) shall open between 10 am 8 pm on odd-even basis, which means shops would open on alternate days depending on the number allotted to them by the concerned market association. This implies that only 50 per cent of the shops of every market will open on a given day. The DDMA order adds that shops selling essential goods including educational books, stationery items, fans are permitted to open on all days without restriction of timings. All standalone (single) shops and all neighbourhood (colony) shops and shops in residential complexes, shall also be permitted to open on all days without any distinction of essential and non-essential goods/ services between 10 AM to 8 PM.

Is one allowed to move freely in my own car, or cab/auto without passes?

Yes. While the curfew on movement remains on paper, people will be allowed to venture out for all the permitted activities. With the order to reopen markets, malls, metro and offices, the curfew on movement holds no practical value anymore. So yes, the bar on individual movement will be gone from Monday.

Will Delhi Metro also resume?

Yes, the Metro has been allowed to operate with 50 per cent seating capacity.

As of now, seating capacity inside trains will continue to be limited and passengers will be expected to leave alternate seats vacant. Passenger entry inside the stations will also be regulated and a limited number of gates will be kept open. Thermal scanning will be carried out mandatorily and hand sanitiser dispensing machines will also be stationed near the entry gates like before. While an eight-coach Delhi Metro train can carry up to 2400 commuters, trains are expected to carry half that number on an average.

Will liquor shops reopen?

Yes, liquor shops in markets and malls will also open following the odd-even formula. This means your neighbourhood liquor store might open on Monday, remain shut on Tuesday, and again open on Wednesday depending on its numbering by the market association. The stores considered as standalone ones, which are essentially those falling outside a contiguous market area, can remain open on all weekdays.

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What about barber shops, salons, spas and gyms?

These establishments are likely to be allowed under the next phase of relaxations.

Will restaurants and food courts reopen?

For now, takeaway and home delivery services shall continue.

What about public buses?

Buses will continue to ply with 50 per cent capacity.

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What about government and private offices?

All private offices in NCT of Delhi shall be allowed to function to the extent of 50 per cent strength of their staff between 9 am and 5 pm, on production of valid authority letter and valid I card issued to the employees by the employers, states the DDMA order. All Delhi government offices shall function with 100 per cent strength of Grade-I officers. In case of the remaining staff, 50 per cent will be called as per requirement.

Parks and gardens have not been allowed to reopen as of now. Also, self-employed persons, such as electricians and plumbers, will continue to be allowed to work. There will also be no restrictions on e-commerce services.

However, Health and Family Welfare and all related medical establishments, police, prisons, home guards, civil defence, fire and emergency Services, power, water and sanitation, public transport (air/railways/Delhi Metro/ buses) and all services that are considered essential shall function without any restrictions.

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