Shopping malls, restaurants, hotels and places of worship opened in many states across India on Monday following a relaxation of the nationwide lockdown, even though coronavirus cases are rising at the fastest daily rate than at any time in the past three months. India, with more than 2.5 lakh cases and over 7,000 deaths, is now the fifth most-affected country in the world due to the pandemic.
However, the Centre has issued strict guidelines for loosening the restrictions as part of “Unlock-1”. This is the first of the three-phase plan for a calibrated exit from the lockdown.
Hotel guests will be tested for fever, masks will be compulsory at all times, and restaurants will have to set tables apart to maintain physical distancing when they reopen, according to the health ministry’s guidelines. All establishments that come under containment zones will remain closed as earlier.
Meanwhile, in places of worship, people will be asked to wash their hands and feet before entering the premises, and distribution of food offerings, sprinkling of holy water or touching of idols and holy books will not be allowed. Several states have issued rules in line with the Centre’s guidelines.
Here is a list of what is allowed in different states:
- Delhi: Malls, restaurants and religious places will open from Monday, but all hotels and banquet halls will remain shut. Delhi has around 100 big and small shopping malls. Several malls have set up UV sterilisation chambers for people to disinfect their belongings, while others have reduced the carrying capacity of elevators by 25%, PTI reported.
- Haryana: Religious places and shopping malls will be open from Monday, except in Gurugram and Faridabad districts. Apart from this, hotels, restaurants and other hospitality services will be reopened with generic preventive measures across the state. The state has not put any cap on the number of people allowed inside these places. The timing of opening for all will remain between 9 am and 8 pm to ensure the compliance of night curfew between 9 pm to 5 am.
- Uttar Pradesh: Malls, restaurants and religious places will open from Monday. Only five people can enter a religious place at a time. There will also be no prasad or live singing at places of worship. In Ghaziabad, hotels, restaurants and eateries will open from June 10 and malls from June 11. However, the religious places will open from Monday.
- Punjab: Restaurants will continue to remain shut but malls and religious places can open from Monday. Entry into malls will be restricted so that physical distancing guidelines can be followed and only 20 people will be allowed inside places of worship at the same time. Restaurants and food courts in malls will only be allowed to accept take away orders and to deliver food to homes. Hotels will only be allowed to provide room service to their guests.
- Chandigarh: Hotels, restaurants, religious places and malls can reopen from Monday. However, customers cannot try out clothes in malls and or dine in at restaurants. There will be token-based entry to malls and places of worship will remain open from 5 am to 8 pm.
- Maharashtra: The Uddhav Thackeray government is yet to take a decision on opening religious places for devotees. “A decision is yet to be taken on opening temples, mosques, churches and other religious establishments for people,” Maharashtra’s Law and Judiciary Department Secretary Rajendra Bhagwat told PTI.
- Gujarat: Temples, mosques, churches and other places of worship can open from Monday. To maintain physical distancing, some of the religious places have decided to organise prayers in shifts and start a token system to specify time slots to devotees to visit.
- Odisha: Religious places and shopping malls will be shut till June 30. Meanwhile, restaurants and hotels can continue home delivery and takeaway services.
- Kerala: The Kerala government has decided to allow functioning of malls, restaurants and places of worship, including the Sabarimala temple, from Tuesday. But few churches, temples and mosques have decided to remain shut till month-end.
- Karnataka: Religious places can open from Monday, but churches will allow people from June 13, according to The Times of India.
- Hyderabad: Shopping malls and temples can open from Monday. Gaming centers and cinema halls in the malls will not be allowed to operate, according to The Indian Express.
- Goa: Religious places can open from Monday but mass activities are not permitted. Temple and church committies are yet to take a call on reopening.
- Tamil Nadu: Economic activities will start in most places, except Chennai, Kancheepuram, Tiruvallur and Chengalpattu districts. Religious places will be shut till the end of June.