Ever since the 21-day national lockdown to contain the spread of the coronavirus outbreak was announced, there has been much confusion about when citizens can step out to buy groceries and items essential to daily life. However, there is now some clarity in this regard among the southern states— Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Telangana. These states have adopted fixed timings for the operation of shops, but times vary depending on the state.
All states have undertaken measures to adopt social distancing such as, making markings on the ground to maintaining distance between persons.
In Andhra Pradesh, all grocery stores, vegetable shops and rythu bazaars, at both urban and rural areas, can stay open from 6 am to 1 pm. Only one person from a family can step out to get essentials, not exceeding 3 km from their residence.
In Karnataka, grocery shops are allowed to stay open round-the-clock as a measure to prevent public inconvenience. In a tweet, the state's Director General of Police, Praveen Sood, said, "For the convenience of citizens grocery shops and supermarkets seeking food articles can be open 24*7 all over the state. Cooperate with police by avoiding crowding."
Those who require medical attention do not need a curfew pass.
For the convenience of citizens grocery shops and supermarkets seeking food articles can be open 24*7 all over the state. Cooperate with police by avoiding crowding.— DGP KARNATAKA (@DgpKarnataka) March 25, 2020
In Kerala, all shops and essentials are open from 7 am to 5 pm. Bars and beverage shops will remain closed. While restaurants have been allowed takeaways, no dine-ins are allowed.
Tamil Nadu has announced that its grocery shops and vegetable markets will be open between 6 am and 2.30 pm everyday.
The state has allowed the delivery of dry ration, medicines and other essentials items by e-commerce firms like Grofers, Big Basket and Amazon.
Online food delivery services like Swiggy, Zomato, UberEats can function only during a specified window- breakfast: 7.00 am and 9.00 am, lunch: 12.00 pm and 2.30 pm, dinner: 6.00 pm and 9.00 pm.
In Telangana, only one person from each family is allowed to step out to buy groceries and essentials between 6 am and 6 pm. The state's Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao has imposed a curfew from 7 pm to 6 am. The state has even deployed Artificial Intelligence software for cameras to read number plates at 250 junctions to fine those who travel more than 3 km from their residence to buy groceries and essentials.