In a major relief to eateries and other hospitality sector, Ministry of Home Affairs has allowed hotels, restaurants and other hospitality services to reopen from June 8 under the first phase of coronavirus lockdown 5.0. Shopping malls will also be allowed to open from this date after more than 2 months of shutdown.
Even after reopening, social distancing norms will have to be followed at these places. In its guidelines for phased reopening of various activities outside containment zones, the Home Ministry stated that Ministry of Health and Family Welfare will issue standard operating procedures for these establishments after consulting concerned central ministries and departments and other stakeholders.
"We welcome the announcement by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) to allow shopping centres, malls to open starting June 8. SCAI has made a stringent set of SOPs which are submitted to the MHA as well as the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MOHFW) and other authorities. The relaxation is certainly going to help ease an unimaginable amount of pressure that was put on the industry following the lockdown. Revival and resurgence is a long process, which has just about begun. We will await further information from MOHFW to ensure the guidelines are followed in letter and spirit," said Amitabh Taneja, Chairman, Shopping Centres Association of India.
As the fourth leg of coronavirus lockdown nears its end, the Home Ministry issued guidelines for phased reopening of lockdown outside containment zones. The restrictions will remain in place inside containment zones demarcated by district authorities.