As country reopens under Unlock 1, some restrictions to continue in these places

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Shopping malls, restaurants, places of worship will reopen in most parts of India from Monday as states gear up to implement Unlock 1, the first phase of easing of restrictions in place under the coronavirus lockdown since March 25.

The Union health ministry issued detailed guidelines in this regard, which will be in place till June 30. At the same time, the Centre has allowed states to decide what will open and place their own rules.

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The reopening comes as India’s tally of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19 ) has risen and it is now the fifth most-affected country in the world. India’s count rose to 246,628 on Sunday after 9,971 cases were reported in 24 hours, the highest single-day rise yet.

The country’s death toll rose to 6,929.

Most economic activities are set to reopen on Monday outside containment zones in the country’s big urban centres, including Delhi, Kolkata, Bengaluru, and Hyderabad.

However, Chennai, Mumbai and Gurugram will continue to see restrictions in view of mounting cases of Covid-19.

Malls will remain shut until June 30 in Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Odisha, Jharkhand, Tamil Nadu, Manipur, Meghalaya, Dadra & Nagar Haveli, Daman & Diu and Haryana’s Gurugram and Faridabad.

Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal said restaurants, malls, and places of worship will reopen from Monday but hotels and banquet halls will remain shut.

In neighbouring Haryana, restrictions will continue on hotels, restaurants, and places of worship in Faridabad, apart from Gurugram, because of the high number of cases.

In Mumbai, BEST’s public bus service and offices with 10% staff limit will resume. Around 300 buses will operate but only 29 passengers, including five standing, will be allowed in its 54-seater buses. BEST was operating its buses only for essential services employees so far.

West Bengal has allowed buses and cabs to ply but Metro and suburban train services will remain shut. Religious bodies in the eastern state have decided to keep important religious places shut till June 15.

In Goa, churches and mosques have decided to remain shut.

Similarly, the Jammu & Kashmir administration has ordered places of worship to remain shut for the time being. According to the new guidelines, all religious places across the Union territory, which were closed nearly a week ahead of the nationwide lockdown, would continue to remain shut till further orders.

The Uttarakhand government said places of worship will be allowed to open from 7am to 7pm but those in containment zones will remain closed till further orders.

The state government said that the pilgrims from places outside the state are not allowed to visit until further orders. The Badrinath temple will open its gates on Monday but has asked the state to keep the yatra suspended till June 30.

Odisha has allowed hotels to reopen but malls and places of worship will remain shut till June 30. It has declared a lockdown on weekends in 11 out of 30 districts. Hoteliers in the state have been asked to keep occupancy at 30%.

In Tamil Nadu, economic activities would start on Monday except in Chennai and its three neighbouring districts of Kancheepuram, Tiruvallur, and Chengalpattu. However, religious places will remain shut until the end of the month.

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