Lockdown 4.0: Delhi allows buses, cabs; salons, Metro to stay shut

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New Delhi: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal addresses a press conference, in New Delhi on Apr 12, 2020. (Photo: IANS)

New Delhi:  Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Monday extended the lockdown till May 31 while allowing opening of shops in markets on an odd-even basis, buses with 20 passengers and cabs with two people, but Metro services, educational institutes, cinema halls, spas and saloons will remain suspended.

Kejriwal said the Delhi government has to slowly move towards opening the economy amid the pandemic.

In the public transport, apart from cabs and DTC buses, autos, e-rickshaws with one passenger only will also be allowed.

“On Sunday, the Central government has issued certain guidelines on the lockdown. Based on those guidelines, the Delhi government has decided to give relaxations in many areas,” he added.

As per Kejriwal, the lockdown will continue till May 31 but many relaxations will also be given under this phase of the lockdown.

“Metros, educational institutions such as schools/colleges, coaching, and training institutes will remain closed. Shopping malls, cinema halls, gymnasiums, swimming pools, entertainment parks, theatres, bars, auditoriums, assembly halls will remain closed.”

The Delhi government also barred social, political, sports, entertainment, academic, cultural, religious, and other gatherings.

“Religious places and places of worship will remain closed. Barber shops, spas, and salons will remain closed. Curfew timings in the city will be from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m., except for essential services.”

Kejriwal also said that senior citizens above the age of 65, young children below the age of 10, pregnant women, and people with comorbidities such as heart diseases and diabetes will have to remain under strict lockdown because they are at a high risk of contracting Corona.

He said only take-away and home deliveries will be allowed and dine-in arrangements will be barred in restaurants.

“Sports complexes and stadiums will be opened, but there will be no spectators allowed during matches and events.”

He said transportation will be opened across the city. “Auto-rickshaws, e-rickshaws, and cycle-rickshaws will be allowed in Delhi with only one passenger. Taxis and cabs will be allowed with only two passengers. Gramin, phat-phat, and eco-friendly sevas will be allowed with only two passengers. Maxi cabs will be allowed with only five passengers and RTVs will be allowed with only 11 passengers.”

Kejriwal said the driver has to ensure the disinfection of the passenger seats after each drop-off for the safety of the next passenger. “Carpooling will not be allowed for cab aggregators. Buses will ply on the roads in Delhi with not more than 20 passengers at once,” he added.

Kejriwal said the screening of each passenger will be done before boarding the bus.

“The Transport Department will be responsible for ensuring that social distancing is maintained on every bus and across all bus depots in the city.”

The Chief Minister said the movement of private vehicles will be allowed with not more than two passengers in a four-wheeled vehicle and not more than one rider on a two-wheeler vehicle. “All private and government offices will be open, but with an attempt that maximum private offices shall allow work from home for their employees.”

He said all markets will be opened, but shops in markets and market complexes will operate on an Odd-Even basis. “Essential items shops will be opened. All standalone, neighborhood and residential shops will be opened, where the responsibility to maintain social distancing will lie with the shopkeeper, or the shop will be closed,” said Kejriwal.

Industries will operate on a staggered timing basis, he said, adding construction activities will be allowed with the engagement of workers living in Delhi, and non-engagement of transborder workers.

“Marriages will be allowed with a maximum of 50 people, and funerals will be allowed with a maximum of 20 people, and both events should ensure proper social distancing.”

However, no activities, except essential services, will be allowed in containment zones, he said.

“As per the Central government guidelines, healthcare staff such as doctors, nurses, medical staff, and sanitation workers will be allowed to pass through the borders. Interstate movements of goods and cargo trucks will also be allowed.”

Kejriwal also said that wearing masks and maintaining social distancing is mandatory for all, and advised the people to wash and sanitise their hands as frequently as possible.

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