Shops in Delhi will open on odd-even basis; buses, taxis will ply with restrictions, barber shops and spas will remain shut: CM Arvind Kejriwal

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Monday said that barber shops, spas and saloons will remain closed for now in lockdown 4.0 to contain the spread of novel coronavirus in the national capital.

Shops in Delhi will open on odd-even basis; buses, taxis will ply with restrictions, barber shops and spas will remain shut: CM Arvind Kejriwal

NEW DELHI: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Monday said that barber shops, spas and saloons will remain closed for now in lockdown 4.0 as part of measures to contain the spread of novel coronavirus in the national capital. Addressing a press conference via video-conferencing, the AAP chief said, “Barber shops, spas and saloons will remain closed for now. Stepping out of homes between 7 pm to 7 am, except for essential services will be prohibited. Taxis and cabs will be allowed but only two passengers at a time in a car.’’

The Delhi Chief Minister further said, ''Coronavirus is not going to vanish unless a vaccine is invented," adding that, "lockdown cannot stay forever." The CM further said that the Delhi government ''used the lockdown period to make arrangements to deal with COVID-19."

"We have to move in the direction of opening our economy," Kejriwal stressed while announcing the new guidelines for the fourth phase of the coronavirus lockdown. 

Kejriwal announced the opening of shops in markets on the odd-even basis and running of buses with only 20 passengers, but said Delhi Metro services, schools, colleges, cinema halls, spas and saloons will remain closed.

Elaborating on the Delhi government’s plan based on the Centre's latest guidelines, Kejriwal said, “Restaurants can open for home-delivery, but dining facility will not be allowed. Similarly, Metro, shopping malls, any religious gathering will remain banned in Delhi's lockdown 4.0.’’’

“Private offices can open at full strength, but they should try that most of the staff works from home. Markets can open but shops will open on an odd-even basis. Sports complexes & stadiums can open but without spectators, ’Delhi Chief Minister said.

People boarding buses in the city will have to be screened first, he said, adding that four-wheeler vehicles, including taxis, will be allowed with only two passengers.

Two-wheelers will be permitted but no pillion riders, the Chief Minister said. "Construction activities and trucks carrying goods will be allowed in Delhi," he said adding trans-border workers will not be allowed

‘’Construction activities are allowed in the national capital now but only with labourers who are in Delhi right now’s Kejriwal said.

Religious gatherings are barred in the city till May 31, the chief minister said, adding a total of 50 people can attend marriage functions, while 20 people can take part in funerals.

The AAP chief also said that markets can be opened with staggered timings but warned that those shops in Delhi not following social distancing will be shut down.

The Delhi Chief Minister had earlier made it clear that he would take steps to reopen Delhi as much as possible in lockdown 4.0 but hinted that he would prefer a phased removal of the lockdown.

It may be recalled that on May 4, CM Kejriwal had said Delhi was prepared to ease restrictions "in places other than containment zones" because Delhi is "prepared in terms of hospitals and kits". "The time has come to re-open Delhi. We will have to be ready to live with coronavirus," he had said.

Meanwhile, the death toll due to coronavirus in Delhi mounted to 160 as the total number of COVID-19 cases reported in the national capital crossed the 10,000-mark on Monday, authorities said. A total of 299 fresh cases were recorded while the total number of active cases stood at 5,409.

With this Delhi has become the fourth state, where the total cases have crossed the 10,000-mark. Maharashtra has 33,055 COVID-19 cases, Gujarat 11,379 and Tamil Nadu 11,224, according to data shared on the Union Health Ministry website.

In a bulletin issued on Monday, the Delhi health department said the death toll from coronavirus has risen to 160, and the total number of cases mounted to 10,054.

The Centre had on Sunday (May 17) said that states and Union Territories can demarcate red, orange, and green zones in order to manage coronavirus COVID-19 containment activities from Monday (May 18).

Union Health Secretary Preeti Sudan sent a letter to all state chief secretaries and listed out the factors that the states must keep in mind while classifying districts in different zones and follow ground-level action.