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Delhi Govt Allows Reopening Of Spa Centres; High Court Asks Them To Abide By Covid-19 Guidelines

Nupur Thapliyal
27 July 2021 7:12 AM GMT
Delhi Govt Allows Reopening Of Spa Centres; High Court Asks Them To Abide By Covid-19 Guidelines
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The Delhi High Court on Monday disposed of pleas seeking directions on the Delhi Government to reopen spa centres which were closed amid Covid-19 pandemic, after taking on record the order issued by the Delhi Disaster Management Authority permitting their reopening. The development came after Justice Rekha Palli was apprised that an order had been issued by the DDMA dated 24th July wherein...

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The Delhi High Court on Monday disposed of pleas seeking directions on the Delhi Government to reopen spa centres which were closed amid Covid-19 pandemic, after taking on record the order issued by the Delhi Disaster Management Authority permitting their reopening.

The development came after Justice Rekha Palli was apprised that an order had been issued by the DDMA dated 24th July wherein spa centres have been allowed to reopen, subject to some conditions set out in the order, thereby resolving the grievance raised by the petitioners.

Hearing this, the Court said: "Nothing survives now. Disposed of as infructuous."

However, the Court clarified that,

"All Spa operators will abide by the conditions as set out in the said order."

DDMA stated that spa centres will be permitted to open subject to the condition that there shall be strict compliance of the conditions specified in the Office Memorandum dated 18h November, 2020 of MoH&FW in respect of Spas.

Furthermore, it has been stated that 6 feet distance shall be maintained between clients and employees and that therapists etc. shall maintain all standards of hygiene and masking.

"In addition, considering the nature of services provided in spas, all employees in such establishments shall undergo two dose of COVID-19 vaccination or fortnightly RTPCR test, especially the therapists who are likely to come in close contact with the clients," the order reads.

It has however been stated that the owners of Spas shall be responsible for ensuring strict compliance of conditions as well as COVID Appropriate Behaviour and that strict penal criminal action shall be taken against them in case of violation.

During the previous course of hearing, the Court was told by the Delhi Government that a final decision on reopening of spa centres will be taken by it soon as the matter is under consideration of the authorities.

Noting the aforesaid submission, the Court had suggested that the Government, while taking a decision to reopen the spa centres, must also consider the conditions that only vaccinated employees or clients are allowed to enter the spa Centres. Along with this, the Court also suggested that the factor regarding curtailing the number of persons using the spa centres at a time may also be considered by the Government.

The Court also disposed of another clubbed petition in which notice was issued earlier this month. The plea had alleged that there was an inordinate delay by the Government in issuing guidelines for opening up spa centres in the national capital. It had been alleged that spa centres are being discriminated with salons, gyms and other establishments which have been permitted to open up.

The petitioners had challenged the guidelines dated June 26, 2021, issued by the Delhi Government allowing opening of salons, gyms and yoga institutions, thereby specifically prohibiting reopening of spa centres. Stating that there is an unlawful and inordinate delay in framing of the guidelines for spa centres, the plea avers that the Government has issued the impugned guidelines without application of mind.

Case Title: DELHI WELLNESS SPA ASSOCIATION v. GNCTD

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