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Maharashtra eases Covid restrictions in several districts; no relaxation for Thane, Mumbai

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The Maharashtra government on Monday issued a notification announcing relaxations for several districts in the state barring 11 districts. The state has allowed shops and establishments, including shopping malls, to remain open on all weekdays till 8pm as well as allowed all government and private offices to remain operational at full capacity. Theaters and Multiplexes however have not been allowed to function and even places of worship are to remains shut. The state’s notification is however not applicable to Mumbai and Thane. Mumbai and Thane Municipal Corporations will come out with their own relaxations in a few hours that may differ from the state’s relaxations.

The state’s notification on Monday allowing shops and establishments to remain open came with caveats. These establishments would not be allowed to open on Sundays, only essential shops would be allowed to remain open for all seven days. There are 22 districts in the state that would benefit from the state government’s move.

While the state has allowed both government and private companies to work at full capacity, it has spoken of the need for companies to have staggered timings to prevent overcrowding. The government has also allowed all agricultural activity, civil works, Industrial activity, transport of goods at full capacity. Gymnasiums, yoga centers, hair cutting saloons, beauty parlors, and spas can remain open. However, the state has put forth a condition that in order to remain open, these establishments will have to not use their air conditioning systems and also function at 50% capacity.

ET had reported last week that the Maharashtra government’s Covid Task Force, while recommending a relaxation, had asked the state to not allow establishments to use air conditioning systems. These establishments have also been allowed to function till 8pm on weekdays but only till 3 pm on Saturdays. Cinema halls, multiplexes, drama theaters have however not been given any relaxation and they would remain shut ‘till further orders’ said the notification. Similarly all places of worship have also been asked to remain shut. For schools and colleges, the state government has said that the State Education department as well as the Higher and Technical department will be taking decisions on schools and colleges.

Restaurants that were only allowed home deliveries have now been allowed permission to dine their customers in their establishment. However, these restaurants can only function till 4pm on weekdays and at 50% seating capacity. The state government has also put restrictions on people’s movement outdoors, from 9pm to 5am. The government has also maintained that restrictions imposed on birthday celebrations, political, social and cultural events, election campaigning, rallies, protests will continue.

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