|In a move that will bring relief to shopowners in the national capital, the Delhi government has lifted the 8 pm deadline for shops following a slide in Covid cases.
The relaxation, which will come into force from Monday, will apply to all shops, including those in shopping complexes and malls. Also, restaurants in the city can now stay open beyond 10 pm.
Announcing the decision, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said, “Till now, markets in Delhi had permission to stay open till 8 pm. As the number of Covid cases have dropped, this restriction is being lifted.”
The Chief Minister’s announcement came as Delhi reported 19 new Covid cases today and zero deaths with a positivity rate of 0.03 per cent. The number of active cases in the national capital now stands at 430.
During the second wave of Covid infections that struck in April-May this year, Delhi witnessed horrifying scenes of people scrambling for hospital beds and oxygen cylinders. The city had then recorded a single-day high of 28,395 cases and its positivity rate had crossed the 35 per cent mark.
To bring the situation under control, strict curbs had been put in place and all shops, except those dealing in essential items, were ordered to shut. This came as a double blow to shopowners already reeling under the impact of last year’s nationwide lockdown.
In June, when the city was recording about 200 cases daily, the Delhi government allowed shops and restaurants to open between 10 am and 8 pm.