The Retailers Association of India has proposed numerous malls across India as spaces to use for vaccination drives and has asked for retail employees to be classed as essential workers and vaccinated with priority.
“RAI has appealed to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare across state governments to treat retailers and their employees as frontline workers and prioritise vaccinating the retail workforce that are serving inside mall premises and retail stores,” said the RAI in a statement, ET Bureau reported.
The RAI also proposed that retail companies will cover all of the costs of vaccinating their staff. Malls have suffered considerable loss to business during the pandemic and remained closed at times when high street stores began to reopen in late 2020. With the return of local lockdowns in metros including Delhi, Mumbai, and Bengaluru, malls are once again facing a halt to business and are keen to find a way to restart operations.
“Looking at the current scenario of the pandemic, speeding up inoculation of the larger segment of public, which is under the age of 45 years, is the need of the hour,” said the RAI’s CEO Kumar Rajagopalan, the Economic Times reported. “Retailers and shopping centres are willing to offer their premises to vaccinating the general public in a safe and controlled environment that ensures social distancing and safety measures.”
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