Mumbai, Oct 19 (IANS): Spelling cheers ahead of Diwali, the Maharashtra government on Tuesday decided to relax pandemic norms further and extend the timings for restaurants and shops, an official said.
As per the new orders, which come into effect immediately, all shops and establishments shall be allowed to remain open beyond 9 p.m. to 11 p.m. to handle the festival shopping rush expected over the next few days.
Similarly, all hotels, restaurants, eateries can remain open beyond 10 p.m. to midnight as part of series of relaxations introduced in phases, bowing to the demands of the hospitality industry.
From October 22, all cinemas and theatres, plus dry amusement parks/rides shall be thrown open for people's entertainment, though a decision on reopening the wet rides or water parks has been deferred for now.
The state government is also considering a proposal to allow commuters with two vaccine does to travel in Mumbai suburban local trains, even as high schools and junior colleges have started functioning with stringent norms from October 4.
The Health Department is keeping a close watch on the emerging Covid-19 scenario especially after Mumbai recorded zero deaths on October 17, first time since March 26, 2020.