Even as the Home Ministry permitted states to allow the opening of non-essential shops, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has advised all shops to clean and disinfect their premises before they reopen. The Chief Minister has also advised disinfection of their vicinities after which it would be best to restart the normal business.
CM Vijayan stated that the position of Kerala is different as compared to other states as there is no divide between cities and villages. He added that all the guidelines by the government would strictly be followed which includes operating with 50% staff, wearing masks and maintaining social distancing.
Kerala govt issues order, allowing opening of shops registered under Kerala Shops & Establishments Act except for those in single & multi brand malls. The shops will open with 50 per cent staff strength & wearing of masks & following of social distancing norms would be mandatory. pic.twitter.com/btHJkfdJi9— ANI (@ANI) April 25, 2020
Kerala has been one of the states that has successfully contained the Coronavirus spread. The number of cases per day has also reduced to single digits recently in the state. So far, the state has reported 451 positive cases out of which 331 have recovered. Only 4 deaths have been reported in the state.
Earlier in the day, Kerala Chief Secretary Tom Jose said the small-scale shops in the state can be opened in accordance with the Centre's order on easing of lockdown protocol. Chief Secretary also said the Centre has issued a detailed order on what kind of shops can be opened. Small-scale textile shops, fancy shops and other establishments under the Shops and Establishment Act can be opened.
The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on Friday night allowed all shops under the Shops and Establishment Act to reopen from April 25 amid the Coronavirus pandemic. This includes shops in residential complexes and market complexes. However, the order states that the shops will function at 50 per cent strength and precautions against COVID-19 — wearing masks and social distancing — is mandatory.
The Home Ministry has clarified that the relaxation in the given order is not applicable in hotspots and containment zones. It has also prohibited the reopening of shops in multi-brand and single-brand malls. The order is an amendment to Centre's April 15 order issued after Prime Minister Narendra Modi extended the nationwide lockdown due to Coronavirus pandemic till May 3.
(with inputs from agencies)