A day after ordering beauty salons and gymnasiums to be shut as part of its third wave of restrictions, the state government issued revised guidelines on Sunday to allow them to operate at 50% capacity, reports Clara Lewis.
The order comes into effect on January 10, midnight, and only those who are fully vaccinated can avail themselves of the services. In salons, "only those activities that do not require the removal of masks by anyone shall be allowed."
Masks are a must at all times in the gym, says Maharahtra govt.
The notification states, "Beauty salons shall be grouped with hair cutting salons and shall be allowed to remain open with 50% capacity subject to restrictions for hair-cutting salons."
Gymnasiums, too, are allowed to be open with a 50% capacity subject to the use of masks while performing any activity.
Rekha Choudhary, wellness ambassador and managing director of OneLine Wellness, said beauty salons and spas had been allowed to resume operations about four to five months ago, but now salons have been allowed to operate, but spas can't.
"In 2020, we could convince Union minister Nitin Gadkari about our industry, which is women-dominated but provides important services. He helped us to meet Union home minister Amit Shah, who removed us from the negative list and issued a letter to that effect to all state governments. But it took us a long time to convince the Maharashtra government, "she recalled. Choudhary said the pandemic has left people mentally disturbed and alternative therapy is required, which is what the industry provides. "While we are not medical practitioners, we follow very high standards of hygiene. Without understanding an industry, decisions are taken by the government, "she alleged.
Nikhil Rajpuria, president, Maharashtra Gym Owners' Association, said: "The earlier SOPs allowed the use of shields or masks. We will continue using the shield and urge people to wear masks while exercising. Most owners may keep