International

India Reopens Some Areas To Nonessential eCommerce, Ride-Hailing

India Partially Opens To eCommerce, Ride-Hailing

India’s Ministry of Home Affairs has given the green light to Amazon, Flipkart, Ola, Uber and others to resume their services in some parts of the country. India is in the midst of its third lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic and has set a tentative reopening date of May 17.

The country has designated three zones — red, orange and green — based on the number of COVID-19 cases in its 733 districts. Red zones have the most cases, orange zones have less and green zones have not had a case in the last 21 days. Nonessential goods and services will be permitted in green and orange zones, which account for 82 percent of the districts in the country. There are 130 red districts.

“As we gear up for providing services, we will carry out daily temperature checks for all partners before they serve you. Anyone registering a temperature over 99°F will be asked to stay home and consult a doctor,” the home services firm Urban Company said on Twitter, as reported by India Today.

Amazon, Flipkart, Snapdeal and Paytm Mall are now taking and delivering orders for nonessential items, and Uber and Ola are resuming rides in green and orange zones, per reports.

Uber told India Today that it has prepared safety guidelines, one being that drivers will only one rider at a time. Riders are expected to wear masks and are advised not to sit next to the driver. If any driver or rider doesn’t feel safe, trips can be canceled and Uber will refund cancellation charges as long as the ride request was made through the app.

Ola and Uber can’t pick up or take people to red zones, and Flipkart and Amazon cannot accept orders from sellers with warehouses in red zones.

Airplane, train and subway rides are still prohibited across India, regardless of the zone. In addition, schools, restaurants, retailers and movie theaters are staying closed.

On April 15, India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi first extended the country’s lockdown to May 15. He also eased some restrictions in the technology sector.

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