Gujarat government on Saturday said that all standalone shops, selling essential and non-essential items with 50 percent staff, will be allowed to open across all districts in the state from Sunday. It, however, added that the state government will not allow shops in containment zones and in shopping complexes and malls to reopen.
The government also said that shops selling tobacco and cigarettes will also be not allowed to open.
“Those shops registered under the Shops and Establishment Act will be able to open. There are three conditions. Firstly, the shop should be outside the containment area. Secondly, social distancing and use of masks will be mandatory for the shop owners and the employees working inside the shop. Thirdly, they have to operate with 50 percent of their existing staff to ensure that there is no crowding inside the shop,” said Ashwani Kumar, secretary to chief minister Vijay Rupani.
The IT/ITES services outside the containment zones will also be allowed to operate from Sunday with 50 percent staff. This applies to even those firms in urban areas.
The order will also apply to even the urban areas of the state including those in Ahmedabad, Surat, Vadodara, and Rajkot. The shops can remain open throughout the day, the official said.
Under the Shops and Establishments Act, there are 10 lakh shops registered in Gujarat where more than 12 lakh workers are employed, according to the state government.
“The shops that fall under this Act like those selling stationeries, spectacles, provision stores or other small businesses have been permitted to open,” the official said, adding the government will come out with more clarity if barbers and ice cream shops will be allowed to open.
“The shop owners need not apply for passes. They just need to keep either their licences handy,” the official added.
The government clarified that the lockdown was still in place in the state and only one person will be allowed to ride a two-wheeler and two persons in a four-wheeler. “However, people should not step out of their homes unnecessarily,” the official said.
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