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Unlock 1 – What is the way forward for private firms?

The biggest challenge still remains the operation of metro for office goers

There was lots of uncertainty regarding the lockdown 5.0 for opening the offices in full strength. The spatial and sectoral relaxations that persisted for more than 2 months had a crippling effect in the planning of economic activities. The unlock 1 isn’t only continuing with the previous relaxations but has also provided a roadmap for the companies to know when the remaining restrictions will be lifted.

The lockdown 5.0 guidelines have now allowed business and industries to plan re-starting of activities. The lifting of the ban on intra-state and inter-state movement of goods and persons will practically unlock the economy entirely.

Decision to open the office remains with firms

The decision has come amid India crossing 5,000 deaths and 1,90,000 total COVID-19 cases. More than 50,000 of new cases have emerged in the last week itself. Even though travelling via metro is still restricted, it is totally up to the companies to open their offices.
The government offices were opened long ago, first with limited attendance and then with full attendance. With the new guidelines in place now private firms can too operate with full attendance unless the office is in the containment zone. Firms now have freedom of deciding their level and schedule of operations but they have to make sure that the health of the employees is not compromised. Firms are expected to take this call through this week.

Read more: Is return of migrant workers causing trouble in Bihar?

Employees too have to be concerned about the new behavioural norms

It’s not just the firms which should be concerned about the social distancing norms but also the workers have to ensure t hat they are conscious of the risks associated with the gathering of people. Employees have to adhere to new behavioural norms not only to protect themselves but also their friends, families and colleagues.

Companies and employees are expected to be utilised the full potentials of relaxation depending upon the situation of COVID-19 in various cities and states. Health Ministry is preparing standard operating procedures for the shopping malls, hospitality industry, and religious places by the end of the ongoing week.

The biggest challenge for the employees remains the medium of travel to reach their offices. For example – In New Delhi, the majority of workers are dependent on metro service to reach their office. Now, because metro services have not been resumed, it is a big concern for the Delhites to reach their office.

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