Amid the subsiding wave of the second wave of coronavirus, a new order of the 'Break the Chain' guidelines in Maharashtra, is now paving the way for 'unlock' in Mumbai from today. All essential shops, non-essential shops, restaurants, salons, and gyms in the city have been granted permission to operate, with some restrictions.
Reportedly, sanitisation activities were conducted on the premises of several such units on Sunday, to prepare for the reopening on June 7, after a two-month hiatus. Theatres and multiplexes, contrastingly, will continue to remain shut.
Restaurants to open at 50% capacity in Mumbai
The new order of the 'Break the Chain' guidelines eases the pace of economic activities in Mumbai. It allows essential shops to remain open on all days till 4 PM in Mumbai while non-essential services will be allowed to open from 4 PM as well- but only on weekdays.
In other words, shops selling non-essential items will shut down on Saturday and Sunday. Restaurants too, have also been permitted to operate only till 4 PM on weekdays, at a strict 50% seating capacity. Parcel, takeaway and home delivery will be allowed post this hour on all days and through the weekends.
While this 'unlock' has been welcomed across Mumbai as a significant move towards restoring normalcy, the industry associations and shopkeepers have highlighted that not all establishment will be able to resume business on Monday. The Hotel and Restaurant Association of Western India too, stated that only 20% of setups might open from June 7, given the time caps and other restrictions. It has also been pointed out that the guidelines do not favour these businesses, as they ordain a shutdown post 4 PM, right before the usual peak hours of the evenings. Nonetheless, the relief has been welcomed across Mumbai.
Salons, gyms & beauty parlours can be accessed with prior appointment
Other commercial units such as gyms, salons and beauty parlours can also operate at 50% potential, with prior appointment. These businesses had already set the rules of crowd regulations and frequent sanitation last year itself, when the city was first unlocked after the nationwide lockdown. Owners and staff at various such establishment have highlighted that all operations will be conducted here under the scope of these rules and protocols.
For gyms, other additional imperatives such as downloading the Aarogya Setu app for clients and staff, PPE kits for all staff member and thermal screening, will be enforced as precautions against coronavirus. Besides this, the use of disposable and sterilised equipment along with frequent sanitisation of the exercising area, every 45 minutes will further boost sanitation and hygiene here. Further, walk-in customers will be turned away.
Bus commute eases in Mumbai
Parallelly, the Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport has decided to resume bus services for the general public, from Monday onwards, with certain protocols. The BEST has permitted only a restricted number of passengers in each vehicle, reportedly, no more than the number of seats in any bus. Face masks are to be worn compulsorily to undertake the commute.
The bus transport was suspended in Mumbai in March-April this year as a precaution, in wake of the rising threat of coronavirus infections. It may be noted here that 'local' suburban trains will continue only for a few essential and medical categories along with the women population, for now.