With the COVID-19 positivity rate in Delhi falling to 0.3 percent on Saturday, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal announced new 'unlock' guidelines on Sunday. The AAP government will allow restaurants to open at 50 percent capacity, while markets will open from 10 am to 8 pm from Monday.
In a press briefing, Kejriwal said, "Restaurants will be allowed to open at 50 percent seating capacity. We will observe this for one week, if cases increase, stricter restrictions to be imposed, otherwise, it will be continued." Additionally, market complexes and malls will open from 10 am to 8 pm.
"Private offices will run on 50 percent capacity from 9 am to 5 pm. In government offices, there will be 100 percent attendance of group A officers and 50 percent for the rest. Essential activities will continue," he added.
However, schools, colleges, cinema halls, and gyms will remain shut.
"Schools, colleges, educational and coaching institutions will remain closed. Social, political, sports, entertainment, academic, cultural, religious festival gatherings are prohibited. Swimming pools, stadiums, sports complexes, cinema theaters, multiplexes will remain closed," Kejriwal said.
Services like spas, gyms, yoga institutes, public parks and gardens will also remain closed.
Earlier on Sunday, PTI had quoted sources as saying that reopening of cinema halls and gyms is also being considered. "There is a likelihood of the Delhi government announcing more relaxations like reopening salons and weekly markets from next week. Reopening of cinema halls, gyms and allowing dining at restaurants are also under consideration," the source claimed.
Last week, Kejriwal had announced 'unlock' guidelines as the COVID-19 situation improved in the National Capital.
In an online address, he said that the government will reopen markets and malls, and that the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) will resume operations of the Delhi Metro. He had added that more activities will be allowed if the situation continued to improve in the city.
Phased reopening of Delhi started with allowing construction and manufacturing activities from 31 May, in view of declining numbers of coronavirus cases and positivity rate.
Going by Delhi government bulletins on COVID-19 figures, the situation has improved significantly since 31 May, with a fall in the number of infections and deaths reported. On Saturday, Delhi reported 213 fresh COVID cases, and recorded a positivity rate of 0.3 percent.
In comparison, last Saturday saw 414 COVID-19 cases and a positivity rate of 0.5 percent. There were 60 deaths reported last Saturday.
The Chamber of Trade and Industry(CTI) has demanded reopening of salons and gyms from 14 June. In an online meeting of salon owners and gym operators, organised by CTI, they demanded reopening of the gyms and salons, said chairman of CTI Brijesh Goyal, PTI reported.
He said the CTI has also written to the Delhi government and the Delhi Disaster Management Authority(DDMA) urging them to allow reopening of salons and gyms as these sectors provide livelihood to nearly 15 lakh people.
Here's a list of what is allowed in Delhi currently:
Delhi Metro: The Delhi Metro resumed services on 7 June after a hiatus of nearly three weeks, with 50 percent seating capacity and no provision for standing travel for commuters.
Malls, markets and market complexes (except weekly markets) were allowed to open between 10 am to 8 pm on an odd-even basis in accordance with their shop numbers, from 7 June.
Government and private offices reopened with 50 percent attendance.
Construction and manufacturing activities began from 31 May.
On the other hand, Kejriwal on 5 June had announced that the lockdown, which was imposed to tackle the exponential second COVID-19 wave which crippled the National Capital's healthcare infrastructure, would be extended.
The chief minister had also announced the government's preparation measures in the scenario of a third COVID-19 wave.
Kejriwal said the Delhi government is preparing for the third wave of COVID-19 keeping in mind that 37,000 daily cases may be reported at its peak and making arrangements for beds, ICUs and medicines.
A paediatric task force has been set up to decide the number of beds, ICU facilities and other equipment needed for children, who are feared to be affected in the third wave, he said.
Delhi is also creating an oxygen storage capacity of 450 MT, purchasing 25 oxygen tankers and installing 64 small oxygen plants. A team of experts and doctors will prescribe useful medicines and a buffer stock of Covid medicines will be created, he said.
With inputs from PTI