With a big relief, business owners in Mumbai opened their shops after being closed for two months due to COVID-19 lockdown. All shops providing non-essential services were closed by the government in March, as it announced a nationwide lockout to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
This is the first day of opening of shops under Unlock 1. The shops are now allowed to function, but must follow the aud-even system. Under the system, shops would be open on each side of the sidewalk on alternate days.
Except the malls, all the shops in the Red Zone and all other shops in the city have been allowed to reopen by the Maharashtra government from June 5.
Nearby shopkeepers were seen who could not celebrate their joy at seeing open shops.
Subhash Jhala, the owner of a shop, assured that his shop has been cleaned and all precautionary steps have been taken. He also said that social distinctions will be strictly followed.
Shweta, a Colaba resident said, “We are happy that we see that the shops have opened up and now we can do everything but”.
Mumbai Shop Owners Association general secretary Viren Shah also shared his happiness. “It is a very happy day for us. The shops which were closed will now be open and business will resume,” he said.
Meanwhile, the administration has warned the shops to uphold social security regulations. Mumbai Mayor Kishori Pednekar said, “Shops will remain open on one side of the pavement and closed on the other side.”
However the lockout in Maharashtra will continue till June 30, which means that all schools, colleges, local trains, religious places, sports complexes, swimming pools will remain closed.
In addition, all other restrictions, including night curfews, will continue. A valid pass is required to travel to Mumbai and surrounding districts.