- The Ministry of Home Affairs had given a nod to the e-commerce platforms to start selling non-essential items during the third lockdown
- The government has allowed e-commerce sites to operate in only orange and green zones.
- The government has also given permission to ride-hailing apps to start operating in Orange and Green Zones
With the government of India extending the lockdown till May 17, there is no escape from the quarantine life but the lockdown 3.0 does bring some respite. The Ministry of Home Affairs had given a nod to the e-commerce platforms to start selling non-essential items during the third lockdown, which means that customers can now buy smartphones, laptops and other gadgets. The government has also given permission to ride-hailing apps to start operating but there are limitations.
As per the MHA guidelines, e-commerce platforms like Flipkart, Amazon and others that were only delivering essential items till now, can now start selling non-essential items in areas where there are no COVID-19 cases. The government has allowed e-commerce sites to operate in only orange and green zones. The platforms will not deliver in red zones.
In India, 733 districts will be classified into three zones such as the Red Zones, Orange Zones, and Green Zones. These zones are classified on the basis of the number of novel coronavirus cases, for instance, the Red Zones have a high number of cases, Orange Zones have fewer cases as compared to the red zones while the Green Zones have not had nay coronavirus cases in the last 21 days. Delhi falls under the red zone which means that none of the e-commerce platforms will deliver non-essential items in the city.
Ride-haling giant Uber on Sunday announced that it would resume services in specific cities in compliance with the government regulations. The company said that it will currently operate in Orange and Green zones.
Uber shared the list of cities failing under Green zones. The cities include Cuttack, Daman, Jamshedpur, Thrissur, Silvassa, Guwahati and Kochi while the list or orange zone cities is a bit longer. It includes Amritsar, Asansol, Durgapur, Ghaziabad, Gurgaon, Rohtak, Prayagraj, Udaipur among others.
Uber had also issued a set of guidelines for users in these areas. The company will allow only two riders at a time, apart from the driver, and it has also advised the riders to not sit next to the driver. The riders are expected to wear masks during their ride and at any given moment, if the drivers or riders don't feel comfortable due to safety reasons, they can cancel the trips. The company will provide a full refund of cancellation charges if a request is made through the app.
Uber said that its services will remain suspended in all the cities that fall under Red Zone. However, UberEssential and UberMedic will continue to operate in the cities.
Uber's rival, Ola is also likely to start operations in cities falling under the Orange and Green zones. However, an official confirmation about the same is awaited.
Service provider Urban Company formerly known as Urban Clap has also resumed services in some cities. Announcing the same on Twitter, the company wrote, "As we gear up for providing services, we will carry out daily temperature checks for all partners before they serve you. Anyone registering a temperature over 99°F will be asked to stay home and consult a doctor."