Traders relieved as markets set to reopen from Monday

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Noida: Traders in the city are elated as they would be able to open their shops after five weeks from Monday. However, the weekend curfew will continue, as per the new unlock guidelines of the district.

On Sunday, the district officials said that the partial Covid curfew, which was in prevalence from the night of April 30, would be lifted from Monday as the active cases in the district dropped below 600.

“Most business owners are happy to resume their work, though some are still opting to stay shut. We have incurred heavy losses during both the lockdowns. However, a chance to resume work will start helping us financially. However, it all depends on the customers’ turnout,” said Sushil Kumar Jain, president, Sector 18 market association.

Now, shops will be allowed to open between 7am and 7pm and markets will operate for five days a week.

“I doubt if I will get business from new clients, especially as the shop will remain closed on weekends. Though I suffered losses, I continued paying one of my assistants while the other one went back to his hometown,” said Vicky Yadav, a photography shop owner in Sector 76.

Earlier, Gautam Budh Nagar district magistrate Suhas LY said that shops and markets outside containment zones have been allowed to remain open from 7am to 7pm from Monday to Friday, while vegetable markets located in the densely populated areas have been instructed to function in open places. “Restaurants will have only home delivery options,” he said.

Under the new guidelines, shopping malls will continue to remain closed while there will be a complete curfew on the weekends which are to be used for cleaning and sanitisation purposes.

Shop owners feel that to keep markets from becoming Covid hot spots, implementation of guidelines is also imperative. “We will have to make sure that social distancing norms are followed. Vendors are allowed to operate in compliance with guidelines. We have 240 registered vendors in our market. But there are many more in the market. It is important to keep a check on all of them,” said CB Jha, president, Atta market association.

Police officials said they will ensure that the guidelines are not being violated. “Only registered vendors will be allowed to operate in market areas. Others will have to go to designated vending zones. Our teams will be on alert and action will be taken against anyone found flouting the unlock guidelines,” said Kumar Ranvijay Singh, additional deputy commissioner of police, zone 1.