Private Offices in Pune & Mumbai to Remain Closed Post Extension of Lockdown

The Ministry of Home Affairs vide Order dated 1st of May 2020 has extended the nationwide lockdown now for a further period of 2 weeks, commencing from 4th of May 2020 till 17th of May 2020. In this regard, the Ministry of Home Affairs had issued Guidelines dated 1st of May 2020 for containment of COVID-19. The primary focus of the said guidelines was categorization of areas between RED, ORANGE and GREEN Zones based on the contamination levels of COVID-19.

In Para 7 (ii) (f) of the said Guidelines, it was mentioned that Private Offices in Red Zones (outside containment zones) could operate after the 4th of May with up to 33% strength as per their requirements and with the remaining employees working from home. This particular guideline had spurred a lot of uncertainty about whether private offices in Pune and Mumbai would be allowed to operate with 33% strength considering that both these areas have been categorized as “RED Zone”.

However, in furtherance of the Guidelines dated 1st of May 2020, the Department of Revenue and Forest, Disaster Management, Relief and Rehabilitation, Government of Maharashtra has issued an Order dated 2nd of May 2020 for extension of Lockdown and guidelines on measures for containment of COVID-19. Vide the said Order, not only has the Government of Maharashtra extended the lockdown till 17th of May 2020, but it has also clarified in para 7 (ii) (f) of the said Guidelines that the option to operate with 33% strength for private offices shall not be applicable to private offices located in area of all Municipal Corporations within the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR), Malegaon Municipal Corporation, Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) and Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC).

Therefore private offices located in area of all Municipal Corporations within the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR), Malegaon Municipal Corporation, Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) and Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) would not be allowed to operate with the exception of working remotely i.e. “work from home”.