June 5 marked the reopening of shops in Mumbai, including non-essential services, after over two months of shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic. On March 24 the government announced a nationwide lockdown, which led to the closing of all non-essential services.
Under ‘Unlock 1’, all shops and services are allowed to resume their businesses. The functioning of shops will occur on the odd-even basis. According to guidelines, shops will be open only on alternate days on either side of the pavement. Except for malls, all the shops residing in Red Zones are now allowed to function, as per the Maharashtra Government.
The authorities have strict social distancing rules in place for the shops and its customers, and all shops must be sanitised before reopening. Kishori Pednekar, the Mayor of Mumbai, informed, “Shops will be open on one side of the pavement, and the other side will be closed.”
All shop owners were delighted with the news. “It is a very happy day for us. Shops that were closed will now be open, and business will resume,” said Viren Shah, General Secretary of Mumbai Shop Owners Association. Residents in Mumbai are equally happy to see shops reopen; this allows them to buy non-essential products as well.
Lockdown in Maharashtra to continue till June 30, all educational institutes, local train services, worship places, etc. will remain shut until then.
Travelling to Mumbai and Pune will require a valid pass issued by concerned authorities. The night curfew will continue until June 30.
As of June 4, Mumbai has 44,704 COVID-19 patients and 1,465 have succumbed to the virus in the city. Pune and Mumbai alone, contribute to 70 per cent of coronavirus cases in Maharashtra. Mumbai accounts for 20 per cent of cases in India, the city has a capacity of carrying out 10,000 tests each day, but only conducted 4,000-5,000 tests in May.