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Maharashtra Unlock: BMC issues new relaxations for Mumbai amid lockdown

Mumbai suburban 'local' trains will not resume operations for the general public.

The Maharashtra government on Monday decided to continue with Level-3 COVID curbs in 14 out of the 36 districts here, including state capital Mumbai. While partial relaxations are awarded to the other 22 cities, the high caseload and emergence of fresh infections in the listed regions have discouraged the administration from withdrawing the restrictions in these regions.

Parallelly, the state has authorised the local civic body to decide the level of curbs in 3 of these 14 districts, namely Mumbai, Mumbai suburban and Thane. As such, the BMC has permitted all shops (except malls) to open here till 10 PM. The local trains will, however, remain shut for all passengers.

The Mumbai lockdown ease

Amid the looming threat of the expectant 'third wave rise' and a high caseload, the Maharashtra administration has decided to stretch the curbs and not allow the general public into the local trains. Only those engaged in essential services are permitted to travel in local trains presently.

There were also several deliberations earlier to resume services for those individuals with full 2-dose vaccination. However, the proposal was declined in view of the deployment of large manpower for tedious confirmation and chances of error. This suburban train travel shutdown will largely affect ordinary commuters in Palghar, Thane, Raigad and Mumbai. Besides this, restrictions on movement will persist between 9 PM to 5 AM, every day.

On the other hand, BMC has permitted dine-ins in Mumbai till 4 PM, on weekends too. Medical shops are permitted to run uninhibited operations throughout the week, with no time bounds. Indoor and outdoor sports, except those involving close contact and swimming, will also remain open.

Restrictions will continue as previously for all social, religious or other public gatherings, while permissions for film shoots has been given with compliance to COVID norms. All other level-3 curbs will be ordained here.

Relaxations offered in Maharashtra

The state of Maharashtra has permitted additional relaxation in about 22 districts. The new orders here allows government and private offices to operate at full employee capacity. For precautions, the work hours need to be staggered to ensure less crowding during commute hours. Offices that can function effectively through work from home mode will be encouraged to do so.

All shops and malls in these districts are permitted to open till 8 PM daily and until 3 PM on Saturdays. A Sunday curfew will be imposed on all businesses, except those tagged as essential. These shops can continue operations throughout the week.

Reportedly, a similar work timeline has been drafted for gymnasiums, salons, beauty parlours and spas, as well. Besides, public gardens, playgrounds and other open spaces will be opened for jogging, walking, cycling and other such activities.

Curbs will linger on all places of worship, theatres, cinemas, multiplexes - including those inside malls, read reports. Existing restrictions will also continue for all public functions, marriages, gatherings, meetings and so on.

The state has also clarified that the orders of the education department will hold authority over the functions of schools, colleges and other educational institutes, while all agriculture-related activities, industry, civil works, transportation shall be allowed at 100% capacity.

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