KOCHI: With the Union government relaxing the lockdown restrictions, the Kerala government on Saturday gave permission for shops in rural areas except malls to function. However, there is no clarity on whether barber shops are allowed to open.
"We will implement the relaxations announced by the Union government. However jewellery shops will not be allowed to function at this juncture. There will not be any relaxation in hotspots and districts which have been declared red zones," said chief secretary Tom Jose.
Minister for Industries E P Jayarajan said that shops can function with 50 per cent staff. "But we should exercise restraint and avoid crowding. People visiting shops should wear masks," he said.
The Union government had on Friday night issued an order allowing the opening of neighbourhood shops and standalone stores in urban residential areas. Though the chief secretary said that the order will be implemented, there was no clarity on allowing shops in municipal and corporation areas to function.
The order of the Union Ministry of Home Affairs said all shops including those in residential complexes and market complexes can function with 50 per cent staff. However, shops in multibrand and single brand malls outside cities and towns will remain closed.
In urban areas, neighbourhood shops and standalone shops in residential complexes registered under the Shops and Establishments Act can function. However, shops in market complexes and malls will remain shut.