This was discussed among top officials at a marathon meeting on Friday and the recommendations will be sent by Saturday evening. Lockdown 4.0 is set to expire on May 31.
Though positive cases have been rising, the government is of the view that people have to live with it and economic activity must be revived. It feels that this can be achieved with enforcement of masks and social distancing measures.
Government may ask for keeping eateries closed for now
The government is also likely to seek extension of the 7am-7pm period which has been impeding business activities, partly because people don’t visit shops before evening because of the heat. It will be asking for a 9pm time limit.
However, it feels that hotels, restaurants and other hospitality services and educational institutions should remain closed for now.
Though owners of salons, spas and gymnasiums have been asking the government to let them operate, sources said the AAP government was yet to take a final call on that. “The Centre has already given the green signal to open salons. Delhi government can prepare a standard operating procedure for salon owners, which, we are sure, will be followed by all the big chains. But enforcing it at the level of local barbers would be a challenge and their shops can turn into big spreaders of the virus,” said an official.
According to sources, Union home minister Amit Shah had spoken to the state governments on Thursday, asking for a feedback on the lockdown and seeking their views on extending it or lifting it after May 31.
While extending the lockdown for two more weeks on March 17, the Centre had allowed extensive relaxations but allowed the states to impose more curbs according to their own assessments. While it allowed the movement of public transport besides opening of shops, the Centre restricted the opening of hotels, bars, restaurants, gymnasiums and swimming pools besides barring social, religious and cultural gatherings. It also didn’t give the nod for running the Metro.
Delhi government decided to follow the national guidelines and lifted curbs from most areas except the educational and hospitality sectors. Containment zones had fewer relaxations.
According to one estimate, there are about 70-80 big and small shopping malls in the city which have remained closed since imposition of the national lockdown on March 25. Only the ones that deal in essential services — grocery, fruits and vegetables — and pharmacies were allowed to remain open in the malls.
“When all markets have been opened, including some of the busiest trade centres, we don’t see a reason why shopping malls cannot be allowed to open on an odd-even basis. There can be screening of people at the main gate and regular sanitisation of the mall,” said a senior Delhi government official, requesting anonymity. “We will have another round of meetings on Saturday to finalise the recommendations.
In Video:Delhi may ask for opening of mall shops on odd-even basis