Haryana lifts timing curbs, but 50% capacity rule to stay | Gurgaon News – Times of India


GURUGRAM: The Haryana government on Sunday lifted time restrictions on shops, malls, restaurants, pubs, gyms and other such establishments. However, restaurants, pubs and gyms will have to continue to operate at 50% capacity.

The government also allowed swimming pools to open for all, provided Covid-appropriate behaviour is maintained. Until now, pools were open only for professional swimmers who needed to practise for any upcoming event. The government order also urged swimmers, visitors and staff to get vaccinated with both doses.
Despite the relaxations, the government on Sunday extended the lockdown in the state for a fortnight till August 23. The order, however, insisted on the “no mask, no service” strategy. It said that only people with masks or face cover would be allowed to enter government offices or board any public transport.
Apart from testing, tracing and tracking, the government has also insisted on vaccinations and Covid-appropriate behaviour in its strategy to battle the pandemic. “It has been a gradual process of easing the lockdown restrictions as cases have come down and the positivity rate has declined. The district administration is constantly monitoring the situation and directives announced by the government from time to time are being complied with strictly,” said Yash Garg, the deputy commissioner.
Garg also appealed to Gurugram residents to get themselves vaccinated at the earliest and follow all Covid protocols.
Although the government implemented the lockdown on May 3, it has been easing restrictions in a phase-wise manner from May 24. Until now, shops were allowed to open from 9am to 10pm, while malls had been operating between 10am and 10pm. Similarly, the timings for standalone restaurants were 8am to 11pm while those for eateries in malls 10am to 11pm.
Restaurant owners and traders appreciated the decision, saying it would provide a much-needed boost to business. They also urged the authorities to gradually open offices as a large section of their clientele is employees from various firms.
“It’s a good decision, should have been taken earlier. But nonetheless, we are happy as it will definitely boost business. So far, we have been mostly serving families. But we are waiting for the corporate crowd,” said Gagan Vashist, the owner of Dhaba 29, a restaurant.
“The lifting of time restrictions will definitely widen the scope of our business. But without the corporate crowd, it will take some time for things to become normal. It’s the discretion of the government and corporate leaders, but we will appreciate if people start attending offices slowly. Most of the businesses are inter-linked,” he added.
Tej Singh, president of the Vyapar Kendra Market Association, said that maintaining social distance and following other such Covid protocols were key to keeping cases low. “We have been appealing to people to wear masks and follow social distancing. But there are some who always violate the rules. The administration should look into this strictly,” he added.

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