In a major relief for Mumbaikars, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) said all shops in the city will be allowed to remain open all days from Wednesday irrespective of the odd-even rule. Under the rule, shops on one side of the road used to remain open on one day, while those on the other side used to function the next day.
In a circular issued under the Mission Begin Again, the civic body also allowed the counter sale of liquor in Mumbai with proper social distancing norms. "It is further directed that all shops shall remain open on all days on all sides of roads irrespective of odd and even (rule)," the circular said.
The relaxation came amid indications that the number of new COVID-19 cases in Mumbai is more or less stabilising since the last few days. On Monday, Mumbai added 970 new cases, taking the cumulative count to 1,17,406. The BMC said all essential shops which were allowed to remain open earlier shall continue to do so whereas all non- essential markets, market areas and shops will remain open from 9 am to 7 pm.
Malls and market places will be allowed to work from 9 am to 7 pm from Wednesday. However, theatres, food courts/restaurants will continue to remain shut. "Kitchen of restaurants and food courts will be allowed to operate in malls wherein only home delivery through aggregators will be allowed," the BMC said.
Apart from allowing sale of liquor at shop counters, the BMC said home delivery of booze is allowed with strict compliance with norms. The corporation warned filing of criminal cases against owners of shops and persons found violating its directives. Referring to the national directive for COVID-19 management, the BMC said consumption of liquor, paan and tobacco in public places is prohibited.
It added e-commerce activities for essential as well as non-essential items and material will be permitted. All the industrial units presently open will continue to operate, it added. The civic body said all government offices (excluding emergency, health and medical, treasuries, disaster management, police, NIC, food and civil supplies and municipal services) will function with 15 per cent strength or 15 persons, "whichever is higher".
All private offices can operate up to 10 per cent strength or 10 people "whichever is more", it said. The BMC said the movement of persons for the purpose of non-essential activities like shopping and outdoor exercises shall be restricted within the neighbourhood area limits on the condition of adherence to wearing masks, maintaining social distancing and personal hygiene.