Even as Maharashtra contends with more than 67,000 active COVID-19 cases, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray has indicated that there will be no additional lockdown restrictions that will come into place.
As he put it, after the current phase of lockdown ends on June 30, “we have to keep the word ‘lockdown’ aside”.
The government has already taken steps to implement relaxations in recent days. However, the COVID-19 restrictions will not cease completely.
Here’s what we know so far:
1. Thackeray has said that further relaxations would be introduced in the coming days, emphasizing the need to “revive the stopped economic cycle”.
2. A re-imposition of the lockdown has not been ruled out, with the Chief Minister saying that it was up to the administration and would depend on the situation.
3. Dahi Handi celebrations have been cancelled for this year, and the Chief Minister on Sunday thanked the Dahi Handi mandals for taking the decision.
4. Ganapati celebrations too will be subdued, with idol height being restricted to four feet for pandals, and no processions to accompany the arrival of the deity or visarjan.
5. While offices have been allowed to open with 10% of their staff strength or 10 people for private offices, and 15% of staff strength or 15 people for government offices, the government is reportedly mulling over the introduction of staggered office hours and permission for higher number of staff.
6. Shops that are currently operating on an odd-even basis may be allowed to open on all days except a fixed holiday soon for green and orange zones.
7. Travel services are likely to increase, both within the city and across districts, with increased ST bus service to different parts of the state, excluding areas such as Thane, Palghar, Jalgaon, and Solapur, where cases are on the rise.
8. Within the city too, rickshaws and taxis with odd and even numbers may soon be permitted to facilitate transportation of employees.
9. Reportedly, the Mumbai Police has now asked people to restrict all vehicular movement to a 2 km radius around their house — unless for an essential service or travelling to work — failing which the vehicle would be impounded.
10. Some services have been reopened recently, including salons and barber shops in Mumbai.