The Maharashtra government today relaxed the restrictions put in place to stem the spike in Covid cases, allowing malls, gymnasiums and salons to open up. The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation, too, eased several curbs in the city.
The relaxations will not apply to 11 districts where the caseload continues to be high. These districts are Kolhapur, Sangli, Satara, Pune, Ratnagiri, Sindhudurg, Solapur, Ahmednagar, Beed, Raigad and Palghar.
In Mumbai, all shops can now stay open till 10 pm on all days. Hotels and restaurants have been allowed to operate till 4 pm. All indoor and outdoor sports facilities, except swimming pools, have been given the go-ahead to open.
In the other districts that will see relaxations, shops and shopping malls can stay open till 8 pm on weekdays and 3 pm on Saturdays. On Sundays, all shops except those trading in essential items shall stay shut.
Restaurants can provide dine-in services at 50 per cent capacity till 4 pm on weekdays. Take away services shall continue as before.
As per the order, public gardens and playgrounds can stay open for exercise, walking, jogging and cycling.
In these districts, government and private offices have been allowed to operate at full capacity. The offices have been directed to implement staggered timings to avoid crowding during travel. The order says that offices that can continue with the work-from-home system should do so.
Gymnasiums, salons and beauty parlours can operate at 50 per cent capacity with the air-conditioning switched off. These, too, can stay open till 8 pm on weekdays and 3 pm on Saturdays. They must remain shut on Sundays, as per the order.
Cinema halls, multiplexes and drama theatres will continue to remain closed till further orders. So will places of worship. Restrictions imposed on birthday celebrations, and political social and cultural events shall continue, the order said.
Outdoor activities are prohibited between 9 pm and 5 am.
The order also states that local authorities must impose stricter restrictions in Sindhudurg, Satara and Ahmednagar districts in view of the higher emergence of fresh cases.
Maharashtra today reported 4,869 new Covid cases and 90 deaths over the past 24 hours - a drop of 1,610 cases and 67 deaths since yesterday.
The state reported a positivity rate of 2.91 per cent on the 1,67,117 samples tested. As per the state bulletin, the number of active cases in Maharashtra currently stands at 75,303.