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Saturday, September 25, 2021

Maharashtra further eases Covid-19 curbs: What is allowed, and what isn’t? 

The Maharashtra government has extended trade timings across the state from August 15. The relaxations come into effect from tomorrow.

Written by Vishwas Waghmode , Edited by Explained Desk | Mumbai |
Updated: August 20, 2021 10:16:54 am
People stand in queue in front of a counter along with their second dose 'Vaccination Certificate' to collect a pass to travel on the Mumbai Local, in Navi Mumbai on August 11, 2021. (Express Photo: Narendra Vaskar)

Following mounting pressure from hotel and restaurant associations and other sections of society to further ease lockdown restrictions, the Maharashtra government Wednesday extended trade timings across the state from August 15. The relaxations come into effect across the state from tomorrow.

Maharashtra Covid-19 curbs: What is allowed?

* The restaurants, bars, shops, shopping malls, gymnasiums, yoga centres, salons and spas are now allowed to remain open until 10 pm on all days.

* As per the government order, only fully vaccinated people are allowed to travel by suburban local trains from August 15, provided 14 days have passed since they were administered the second dose.

* However, for the restaurants and bars, the government has allowed them to remain open until 10 pm with 50 per cent capacity on all days. Last orders can be taken until 9 pm but takeaway or home delivery service can be provided 24 hours.

* In the case of shops and shopping malls, which can remain open till 10 pm on all days, only customers who have taken both doses of vaccine and completed 14 days after the second jab are allowed entry.

People line up to get inoculated against Covid-19 outside a vaccination centre in Mumbai on August 12, 2021. (AP Photo: Rajanish Kakade)

* The air-conditioned and non-air-conditioned gymnasiums, yoga centres, salons and spas can remain open till 10 pm but the air-conditioned establishments need to ensure proper ventilation in their premises. Indoor sports such as badminton, table tennis and squash are allowed but with only two players.

* The private and industrial establishments, which have vaccinated their employees, can operate at full capacity. However, private establishments can remain open 24 hours with 25 per cent attendance per shift.

* All playgrounds, gardens, chowpattys and beaches are allowed to remain open as per the timings set by the local administrations.

* Indoor marriage halls can operate at 50 per cent capacity or with a maximum of 100 people while outdoor marriage halls are allowed to accommodate up to 50 per cent of their capacity or a maximum of 200 people.

The order has said that owners or managements of all shops, restaurants, bars and malls, offices and industrial establishments should ensure that their employees have taken both doses of vaccine and completed 14 days after the second dose. “All should follow Covid-19 preventive measures such as the use of masks, physical distancing and no spitting among others,” said the order.

What is not allowed?

*Movie and drama theatres, multiplexes (independent or part of shopping malls) and all places of worship will remain closed till further orders.

* As part of crowd management, restrictions on birthdays, political, religious, social and cultural programmes as well as political rallies will continue.

* Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, in a statement, had said the Delta plus variant is spreading widely in countries such as the United States and Britain. “In such a situation, we have to open up activities very carefully. There are demands from other sectors for relaxations and we will take a careful decision on those too,” he added.

Lockdown in case of increase in oxygen patients

While easing the curbs, the government order said a lockdown will be imposed across the state if the demand for medical oxygen for Covid-19 patients rises to 700 MT per day, which translates into 30,000 patients requiring oxygen.

Thackeray had said that considering the oxygen shortage faced during the second wave, the government would impose a lockdown if the requirement of oxygen increases. “If the state requires 700 metric tonnes of oxygen daily for Covid-19 patients, then a lockdown will be imposed immediately,” he added.

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