Lockdown 4.0: E-commerce firms can resume operations of Non-essentials in Red zones


E-commerce companies are now allowed to deliver essentials and non-essentials to all places outside containment zones, including the red zones, the Centre announced on Sunday as it extended the lockdown till May 31.

The Lockdown 4.0 has brought a sigh of relief to the e-commerce firms as they can now finally resume full operations after almost two months of staggered operations. As of now, they could only deliver non-essential items only in green and orange zones in the third phase of the lockdown.

According to the orders by the Centre, except for the ones that are “specifically prohibited”, all other activities will be allowed in the red, green, orange and buffer zones.

E-commerce giants such as Amazon and Flipkart amid the nationwide lockdown had seen the biggest impact of the coronavirus pandemic on its business. The e-commerce giants had been facing a tough time due to the lockdown and had temporarily contracted their business to essential items such as groceries, as non-essentials were not granted permission.

Speaking on the extension of the lockdown, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said, “Lockdown 4 will have “new rules” formulated with the suggestions of states. New relaxations have been announced today which allow movement of people during the daytime, and inter-state transport — buses and public vehicles. It will, however, retain the key bars on air travel and metro rail, malls and gyms and big gatherings.”

The fourth phase of the country-wide lockdown has rolled the ball in the court of the states by allowing them to take a final decision on what activities are allowed in any particular area.

The Centre has extended the nationwide lockdown for a period of two weeks until May 31. Yesterday, the Ministry of Home Affairs outlined the details of the Lockdown 4.0 by issuing guidelines. However, several relaxations has been given to different sectors while also lifting a number of restrictions for various activities.

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