Thiruvananthapuram: All shops across the state will be opening for three consecutive days from Sunday on the heels of relaxations announced by the Kerala government ahead of Bakrid. Every shop that sells non-essential items like textiles, accessories, and electronic goods can be open to business till 8 pm.
The decision was taken after a meeting with the traders' organisations VyapariVyavasayi EkopanaSamithi. Many business owners appealed to the state government to keep the stores open for business ahead of Bakrid.
A statement from the Chief Minister's office said that the relaxations in the state-wide lockdown pertain to areas categorised as A, B, and C zones, reported The News Minute. The zones are categorised based on test positivity rate. The state has been implementing lockdowns on weekends to control the spread of Covid-19.
The state is divided into four categories - A (with TPR below 5%), B (with TPR between 5-10%), C (between 10-15%), and D (above 15%). But, shops were not allowed to be open on all days of the week until now.
Last week, traders in Kozhikode had demanded that the government allow the shops to be open all days of the week. Traders launched a protest on July 12 and clashed with the police on the streets. The CM had warned strict action against similar moves.
General Secretary of the VyaparaVyavasayiEkopanaSamithi, RajuApsara, had told media that he hopes that Chief Minister PinarayiVijayan takes a favourable stand with the traders during the meeting.
Experts at the Kerala chapter of IMA (Indian Medical Association) had criticised Kerala's lockdown to be unscientific and impractical. The letter written to CM had recommended opening the stores for longer hours. The CM later eased his stance and agreed to meet with the traders' association.