The city witnessed an unprecedented surge of cases and deaths during the second wave of coronavirus in April and May. The situation seems to have been improving over the past few weeks, allowing the government to reopen the city in a phased manner.
The Delhi Metro and public buses here will operate with full seating capacity from Monday, while cinema halls, theatres and multiplexes will open with 50 per cent occupancy, the Delhi Disaster Management Authority said Saturday in its latest set of lockdown relaxations for the capital.
This comes as the city witnesses a drop in coronavirus cases and deaths.
The latest DDMA unlock guidelines say the Delhi Metro, the city’s lifeline, will be allowed to operate with 100 per cent seating capacity from Monday but no standing passenger will be allowed.
Cinema halls, theatres and multiplexes will be allowed to open with 50 percent seating capacity from July 26, while business-to-business (B2B) exhibitions will also be allowed, but only with business visitors, the guidelines said.
The order also directed that the number of people allowed at marriage functions and funerals will be raised to 100 from Monday.
Till now, funerals/last rites were permitted with a ceiling of 20 people while marriages at home or in court were allowed with a ceiling of 20 persons. Marriages in marriage halls/banquet halls were allowed with a ceiling of 50 persons.
The owners of the banquet halls, marriage halls, hotels etc. shall be responsible for ensuring strict compliance of COVID Appropriate Behaviour (viz. wearing of masks, maintaining social distancing, regular hand washing and use of sanitizer etc.) to contain the spread of COVID-19 virus, it said.
In case, any violation is found, strict penal /criminal action shall be taken against the owner of the premises as well as against the individual and the premises shall be sealed forthwith,” it said.
Spas can also open from July 26 but all employees have to be fully vaccinated or undergo an RT-PCR test fortnightly, the DDMA said.
The order stated that intrastate (within NCT of Delhi) movement of buses (DTC as well as cluster) shall be permitted with 100 per cent seating capacity.
“In the case of buses, boarding shall be allowed only from the rear door while de-boarding shall be allowed only from the front door. No standing passenger shall be allowed. Public transport such as autos and e-rickshaws (up to two passengers) / Taxis, Cabs, Gramin Sewa & phat phat Sewa (up to two passengers) / Maxi cab (up to five passengers) / RTV (up to 11 passengers) shall be allowed,” the order added.
It also said that religious places shall be permitted to open but no visitors will be allowed. Stadia/sports complexes will be permitted to open without spectators, it said.Detailing the norms spas need to follow, the order said six-feet distance shall be in general maintained between clients and employees.
Service providers i.e., therapists etc. shall maintain all standards of hygiene, masking etc., and all therapists and other employees, as also the visitors, shall be subjected to temperature checks and if anyone shows symptoms, they would not be permitted entry in the establishment, it said.
“All service providers shall wear face shields and masks while providing therapy. For treatments which are longer than 30 minutes, a PPE kit should also be worn in addition. Clients should preferably wear masks to the extent possible, considering the nature of services which are availed of,” it said.
The DDMA also said that all visitors/clients shall sign a declaration form to the effect that they have not contracted COVID-19 and if they have, they have tested negative subsequently.
The establishments are permitted to take a written consent form accepting the risks that may be involved for clients/visitors, the order said.
Tools including clothing, other apparel, towels etc., used for clients shall be sanitized after each and every treatment, it added.
“It shall be ensured that hygienic conditions are maintained in the spas and other safeguards in force for salons shall also be adhered to by the spas,” it said.
All schools, colleges, educational and coaching institutions will remain closed and online or distance learning will be permitted, said the order.
These were banned with the imposition of lockdown in Delhi on April 19 due to surging COVID infections.
Activities that are prohibited and restricted will remain so from 5 am on July 26 till till 5 am on August 9, said the order.
Delhi battled a brutal second wave of the pandemic that claimed a massive number of lives, with the shortage of oxygen at hospitals across the city adding to the distressing situation.
On April 20, Delhi had reported 28,395 cases, the highest in the city since the beginning of the pandemic. On April 22, the case positivity rate was 36.2 per cent, the highest so far.