Maharashtra government on Tuesday issued the rules for the COVID-19 Lockdown 4.0, which will remain in effect until May 31. As part of its revised guidelines for lockdown 4.0, the Maharashtra government has permitted e-commerce delivery of essentials and non-essentials in red zones.

The move to allow e-commerce platforms to deliver non-essentials comes as a major boost to companies which were allowed to sell only essential goods since the lockdown began on March 25. E-commerce giants such as Amazon and Flipkart amid the nationwide lockdown had seen the biggest impact of the coronavirus pandemic on its business. The e-commerce giants had been facing a tough time due to the lockdown and had temporarily contracted their business to essential items only.

The Centre on Sunday announced that e-commerce companies will be allowed to deliver essentials and non-essentials to all places outside containment zones. However, Maharashtra being the state with the highest number of coronavirus cases in India, needed clarification from the state government regarding the delivery of non-essentials.

In Maharashtra, Red, green and orange zones have also been redrawn. Mumbai Metropolitan Region, Pune city, Solapur city, Aurangabad city, Malegaon, Dhule Nashik city, Jalgaon, Akola and Amravati are under a ‘red zone’.

Some of the cities and districts that have been excluded from the red zone include Pimpri Chinchwad and Nagpur Municipal Corporations and Nanded, Satara, Yavatmal and Palghar districts, which were earlier categorized as red zone on April 30 by the Union government. E-commerce companies will be allowed to operate in full swing in these areas except for containment zones.

Officials have said that the state government’s re-mapping of municipal corporations and districts into red zones and non-red zones over the earlier red, orange and green zones was done on the basis of two factors, i.e. death count and doubling rate over a seven-day period.