Large and small retail stores remained shut in most parts of the country over the weekend despite the ministry of home affairs (MHA) orders announcing certain exemptions from the Covid-19 lockdown on Friday.
Post the new set of relaxations, some states refused to loosen the shutdown and retailers said there was lack of clarity pertaining to the announcement on what constituted ‘neighbourhood’ and ‘standalone’ stores, which are permitted to operate according to the ministry, creating confusion among local authorities.
Haryana, Rajasthan, Delhi, Goa, Kerala, Odisha, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and Chhattisgarh are the states that permitted retailers to sell non-essentials after the MHA orders. But retailers said local administrations didn’t give clearance and many stores were forced to not to begin their operations by the police. Most retailers and trade bodies are now expecting that they will be allowed to open only after the lockdown which is planned to end on May 3 but states have said that opening up may take time and happen in phases, especially in Covid-19 hotspots.