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Kerala allows opening of small-scale shops with Centre's relaxed COVID-19 lockdown protocol

Chief Secretary Tom Jose said that the Centre has issued a detailed order on what kind of shops can be opened.

Published: 25th April 2020 03:59 PM  |   Last Updated: 25th April 2020 03:59 PM   |  A+A-

A worker carrying essential items in a bicycle trolley for supplying to the Air Force camp near the domestic airport at Thiruvananthapuram

A worker carrying essential items in a bicycle trolley for supplying to the Air Force camp near the domestic airport at Thiruvananthapuram. (Photo| Vincent Pulickal, EPS)

By PTI

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Kerala Chief Secretary Tom Jose on Saturday said the small-scale shops in the state can be opened in accordance with the Centre's order on easing of lockdown protocol.

In a late night order on Friday, the Home Ministry said that neighbourhood and standalone shops, including those in residential complexes, in urban areas have been allowed to open during the ongoing lockdown but those in the markets continue to remain shut till May 3.

The order also said malls continue to remain shut but markets in rural areas can open. "Essential commodity shops and grocery stores can be opened. But jewellery shops and such establishments cannot be opened. However, there is no exemption in hotspots," Jose told reporters.

Chief Secretary also said the Centre has issued a detailed order on what kind of shops can be opened. Small-scale textile shops, fancy shops and other establishments under Shops and Establishment Act can be opened.

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However, state government has informed that social distancing must be implemented properly and use of masks are a must. Already, vegetable and shops, mobile shops, medical shops, bakeries, take-way and parcel service including home delivery from hotels are opened in the state. In rural areas, all shops, except those in shopping malls, are allowed to open.

Amending its April 15 order, the Union Home Ministry said, "All shops, including neighbourhood shops and standalone shops, shops in residential complexes, within the limits of municipal corporations and municipalities, registered under the the Shops and Establishment Act of the respective State and UT" would be allowed to open during the lockdown.

The ministry also said shops located in registered markets located outside the municipal corporations and municipalities can open after following the drill of social distancing and wearing of masks but with 50 per cent of strength. However, single and multi-brands shall continue to remain closed in these areas also.

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