The Maharashtra government on Tuesday announced that all essential buying of food items shall be permitted for only four hours daily till May 1 in order to break the chain of coronavirus. The new restriction will come into effect from 8 pm today (April 20) and remain effective till 7 am on May 1.
The order was issued by the Disaster Management and Relief and Rehabilitation department.
"All grocery, vegetable shops, fruit vendors, dairies, bakeries, confectioneries, all types of food shops including chicken, mutton, poultry, fish and eggs, shops related to agricultural implements and farm produce, pet food shops, shops related to materials for impending rainy season" will remain open from 7 am to 11 am, said the order.
Home delivery from such shops may be allowed between 7 am to 8 pm, though the timings may be revised by the local authorities.
Local authorities can include additional services or entities in the essential services category only after the consent of the state Disaster Management Authority, the order said.
An official said that this effectively means that people will not be allowed outside for these activities for 19 hours daily, though they will be permitted to go out anytime for medical emergencies as in the past.
Maharashtra has been adding more than 50,000 COVID-19 cases daily over the last two weeks. Various other restrictions are already in place under the state's `Break the chain' program to control the spread of the virus.
This week, Mumbai Police Commissioner Hemant Nagrale introduced colour coded stickers for specified essential services which has made it more difficult for people to move out without any valid reasons.
(With Inputs from agencies)