Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Sunday announced further easing of coronavirus-related restrictions in the national Capital. Under the new guidelines, which will come into effect from 5 am on Monday, all shops in markets and malls will be allowed to stay open between 10 am and 8 pm, while restaurants will be allowed to operate at 50% occupancy.
Last week, the Delhi government had allowed outlets in malls and markets to remain open on alternate days on an “odd-even” basis of their shop numbers.
“After 5 am tomorrow, all activities will be allowed, except some which will be completely prohibited, and some which will be allowed with restrictions,” Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said at a virtual press briefing on Sunday.
Schools, colleges coaching institutions, swimming pools, stadiums, sports complexes, spas, gymnasiums, cinema theatres and multiplexes will continue to remain closed, Kejriwal said. All large gatherings, including social, political and religious ones will also not be allowed.
The Delhi Metro and the city’s bus service will operate at 50% occupancy, while two passengers will be allowed in auto rickshaws and taxis. A maximum of 20 guests will be allowed at weddings and funerals.
Grade-I employees at government offices will work at 100% attendance, while staff of all other grade will function at 50% attendance. However, departments concerned with essential services will function at full attendance. Private offices will be allowed to function on 50% attendance between 9 am to 5 pm.
The chief minister said that the government’s focus was on reviving the city’s economy, while staying prepared for the possibility of a third wave of the pandemic. He added that the revised guidelines on malls, markets and restaurants will be reviewed after a week and a decision on whether to continue with the relaxations will be taken based on the number of coronavirus cases.
The number of cases in the national Capital has seen a significant decline in the past few weeks, with the positivity rate dipping under 0.5%. On Saturday, the city recorded 213 new cases – the lowest in more than three months – while the positivity rate stood at 0.3%.