The Centre on Sunday allowed e-commerce companies to deliver all goods, including those considered non-essential, to all places outside containment zones. The fourth phase of nationwide lockdown, which will continue till May 31, has considerable relaxations outside containment zones.

Earlier, e-commerce deliveries were restricted to only essential items in districts classified as red zones. However, state governments will make a final decision on what activities are allowed in any particular area.

Last month, e-commerce giants Amazon and Flipkart had urged the government to allow them to sell non-essential items during the lockdown put in place to control the spread of the coronavirus. The businesses of most e-commerce companies have been severely affected since March 25, when the government first imposed the lockdown and banned the sale of non-essential goods through these platforms.

Delivery of items will continue to be restricted in containment zones across the country, where only essential activities will be permitted.

After the Centre’s new order, online retailer Snapdeal said that it will start delivery in all the zones, according to Hindustan Times. “We welcome the guidelines announced by the MHA, which pave the way for a broader resumption of economic activities across most parts of India,” the firm’s spokesperson said. “At Snapdeal, we are ready and equipped to now start serving customers all across India in red, green and orange zones by providing them access to the entire selection of millions of products. This is also the moment that will enable lakhs of medium and small online sellers to start rebuilding their businesses as they serve the needs of users in cities and towns across India.”

The number of coronavirus cases in India rose to 96,169 on Monday morning and the toll went up to 3,029. The country recorded the biggest single-day jump with 5,242 new cases and 157 deaths in the last 24 hours.

Also read: What’s allowed, what’s not in lockdown phase 4

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