Malls to reopen, shops to operate under odd-even format as Haryana extends lockdown till June 7 

CHANDIGARH: The lockdown to contain COVID-19 in Haryana has been extended by a week till June 7, the state government announced on Sunday, as it relaxed curbs imposed on shop timings and malls.

The state government termed the lockdown “Mahamari Alert/Surkshit Haryana (Epidemic Alert/Safe Haryana)”.

Addressing a virtual press conference, Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar said even though the COVID-19 situation has improved in the state, it has been decided to extend the “Mahamari Alert/Surkshit Haryana” lockdown till 5 am on June 7 with some more relaxations.

He said shops which were earlier allowed to open as per odd-even basis from 7 am to 12 pm will now be open from 9 am to 3 pm.

“We had received representations from market associations after which we decided to change the timings. However, the shops will continue to open as per the odd-even system,” Khattar said.

Malls will now be allowed to open from 10 am to 6 pm, subject to certain conditions, he said.

The number of visitors to be allowed inside a mall will depend on the size of the structure, the chief minister added.

“For example, in a 1,000 square feet mall, 40 people will be allowed at a time, and if it has an area of 2,000 square feet, the number of people allowed at a given time will be 80,” he said.

Those allowed entry can stay inside for a limited duration, and entry of others will be permitted based on how many are inside the mall at a particular time, Khattar added.

“Mall operators will have to come out with a mechanism for this, and they will have to take necessary permission from deputy commissioners concerned,” he said.

Colleges, industrial training institutes and schools will remain closed till June 15 as already announced, the chief minister said.

The daily ‘corona curfew’ timing in the state will continue to be from 10 pm to 5 am, he added.

Replying to a question, the chief minister said that unlike last year’s lockdown, when the state’s revenue collections took a major hit, the impact on excise and GST collections due to the current lockdown has been marginal.

To contain the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in Haryana, the state government had initially imposed a lockdown on May 3 for a week till May 10, which has now been extended four times.

COVID-19 cases, positivity rate and the death count due to the disease have come down significantly following the imposition of the curbs.

The state government had also put several other restrictions in place, including the imposition of section 144 of the CrPC and a night curfew.