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Maharashtra Eases COVID Curbs in Some Districts, Permits Gyms, Spas to Open

Local trains will not be allowed to all commuters as the threat of a third wave of the pandemic still looms large.

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<div class="paragraphs"><p>Mumbai suburban trains remain out of bounds for common commuters.</p></div>
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Partially easing the lockdown restrictions, the Maharashtra government has permitted a few additional activities in 22 districts, but the remaining 14 continue under Level-3 curbs as before, including the Mumbai suburban trains which remain out of bounds for common commuters for the 17th consecutive month, an official announcement said on Monday, 2 August.

The 14 districts are: Kolhapur, Sangli, Satara, Ahmednagar, Pune, Solapur, Beed, Raigad, Ratnagiri, Sindhudurg, Palghar, Thane, Mumbai and Mumbai Suburban district.

For Mumbai, Mumbai Suburban district, Thane, Satara, Ahmednagar and Sindhudurg districts, considering the higher number of positive cases and fresh emerging cases, the local Disaster Management Authority will take the decision to impose effective restrictions.
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The lifeline of Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) - the suburban trains - will still not permit ordinary commuters, affecting the people in Palghar, Thane, Raigad and Mumbai, who have been struggling for the past 17 months under the pandemic-related restrictions.

Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray said that the local trains will not be allowed for all the commuters as the threat of a third wave of the pandemic still looms large.

However, the Opposition BJP and railway commuters' organisations have demanded that local train travel should at least be allowed for those who have taken both doses of COVID vaccine.

New Unlock Guidelines

In the remaining 22 districts, the new orders have permitted government and private offices to function at full capacity but with staggered work hours to avoid crowds during commute and those offices which can function through work from home mode will continue to do so.

All shops, including malls, will remain open till 8 pm daily, up to 3 pm on Saturdays, but barring essential retailers, all will remain closed on Sundays.

Gymnasiums, salons, beauty parlours and spas can remain open till 8 pm daily without airconditioners, till 3 pm on Saturday and fully closed on Sundays.

While public gardens and playgrounds have been thrown open for jogging, walking, cycling etc, all places of worship, theatres, cinemas, multiplexes, including those inside malls, will remain shut till further orders, as also the existing restrictions on all public functions, marriages, gatherings, meetings, etc.

For schools and colleges, the education department's orders shall be applicable, while all agriculture-related activities, industry, civil works, transportation shall be allowed at full capacity.

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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