RESTRICTIONS STILL IN PLACE
The lockdown in India continues in Containment Zones and activities reopened in phased manner in areas outside of Containment Zones.
- The phase ‘‘Unlock 2’’ continues in place and all activities shall adhere to the requirements as stipulated in the Guidelines for Phased Re-opening (Unlock 2), including
– All activities in areas outside Containment Zones will be permitted, excluding the prohibited activities such as academic, entertainment, sports, social, political, religious-related events.
– Night curfew will continue be imposed between 10:00pm to 05:00am throughout the country, except for essential activities.
– Lockdown remains in the Containment Zones until 31 July, 2020 and only essential activities will be allowed, where no movement of people in or out of these zones, except for medical emergencies and for maintaining supply of essential goods and services.
- At the same time, the government has been working on different Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) to speed up resumption of different businesses and activities, including resumption of film production and revisions on academic calendar for universities.
IMPACT ON FOOD SUPPLY CHAIN
- For food sector, the food manufacturing activities remain unhampered.In addition, based on the Guidelines for Phased Re-opening (Unlock 2) , there shall be no restriction on inter-State and intra-State movement of persons and goods. No additional approval/permission will be required for these forms of movements.
- At ‘‘Unlock 2’’, some of the key challenges still being observed in different areas of the country in terms of food retail, including
– Mumbai: Labor shortages have been observed due to the return of laborers to their home states.
– Hyderabad: Low number of customers to the grocery shops
– Chennai: Sharp rise in vegetable prices due to the increment of fuel price
- Based on the report published by United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), the COVID-19 has brought significant impacts to the retail foods sector in India, including
– Consumer behaviour: Consumers prefer foods that promote health and well-being, especially foods perceived as immunity-boosting (garlic, almonds, ginger, etc.). Moreover, consumers acceptance towards frozen, ready-to-eat, processed foods has been increased.
– E-commerce: Customers turned to and relied on e-commerce platforms to purchase food supplies as lockdown restrictions and social distancing measures imposed.