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    Covid Lockdown may be confined to 13 cities; hotels & malls could open

    Synopsis

    The national directives on new lockdown are likely to be issued on May 31 for next fortnight.

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    The Centre is working on new guidelines that will remove lockdown restrictions from most parts of the country.
    Coronavirus

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    New Delhi: The Centre is working on new guidelines that will remove lockdown restrictions from most parts of the country, barring 13 cities, from June 1. Hotels, malls and restaurants are also likely to get the go-ahead, officials told ET.

    Home minister Amit Shah, who spoke with chief ministers on Thursday, is believed to have met Prime Minister Narendra Modi and briefed him on his discussions ahead of drawing up a new set of guidelines. The national directives are likely to be issued on May 31 for next fortnight.

    Those familiar with the deliberations told ET that there is a possibility of the PM touching upon some of these issues regarding the next phase of the lockdown in his Mann Ki Baat on Sunday, though a final call is yet to be taken.

    “Discussions are also underway to see how to avoid the use of the term lockdown from now on,” an official said, adding that states will still retain the flexibility to tighten norms if they feel necessary. While more public transport with social distancing norms will begin, sources said, metro services may not be allowed to resume immediately.

    ETM-1-30052020

    Recovery Rate High
    Another big issue under discussion is to find a solution to allow movement of traffic between Delhi and the larger NCR which includes Gurgaon, Faridabad, Noida and Ghaziabad. “From a UP standpoint, there cannot be one rule for Lucknow and another for Noida. So, we have to find a way,” said a senior government official.

    Both UP and Haryana governments have sealed borders with Delhi due to rising number of cases in the capital. Maharashtra, Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh during their discussions with the home ministry, sources said, sought to extend the lockdown in some form until June 30. The Centre, on its part, is keen to proceed with specific restrictions for 13 cities which, according to the government, account for about 70% of the Covid-positive cases in the country. These include Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Ahmedabad, Thane, Pune, Hyderabad, Kolkata/Howrah, Indore, Jaipur, Jodhpur, Chengalpattu and Tiruvallur, according to officials. The opening up is based on the assessment that though cases have risen, the recovery rate has been high in India.

    “There is a strong view that while backend business has been opened, the front-end consumer-facing business has not...The front-end needs to be opened to complete the cycle,” the official said.

    The big leap in the current lockdown cycle, officials said, has been the effort to resume domestic flights. This has given confidence to other sectors, especially hospitality, to open up for business with proper social distancing norms.

    (Catch all the Business News, Breaking News Events and Latest News Updates on The Economic Times.)

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    56 Comments on this Story

    Amar Khurana43 days ago
    financial problems being faced by small shop keepers, self employed persons, people running their business in rented premises whether in mall or any other place, governments facing reventue deficits appear to be compelling reason. Public at large has to learn, as usual, to fight such situations. God Bless one and all
    Krishan Gandhi43 days ago
    #Funny! When Covid cases are flayering up Govt. agencies Talk of Relaxation at the Cost of Citizen Life. Govt. should apply Restricted Relaxations and People made to understand Pros & Cones of Covid at grass root level. The current Media Reports to be seriously Taken Care Of in Nation Interest.
    Yashodhan Muzumdar43 days ago
    Kishore Shivani what about Dadar Bandup Mulund Worli Andheri Ahmedabad etc. Dont blame any religion or community
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