The Delhi High Court Monday said that all spa operators have to abide by the conditions imposed upon them by order passed by the Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) for their re-opening amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The latest unlock guidelines by the DDMA have allowed spas to open from July 26 but all their employees have to be fully vaccinated or undergo RT-PCR test fortnightly.
“They have to (abide by the conditions),” said Justice Rekha Palli after Delhi government counsel referred to the July 24 order of DDMA containing the the strict conditions.
“Needless to say that all spa operators will abide by the conditions set out in the order”, said the judge who was hearings pleas to reopen spas which have been shut since April on account of the second wave of COVID-19.
In view of the DDMA order and taking note of the submissions of Delhi government counsel Naushad Ahmed Khan, the court opined that nothing survived in the petitions and disposed them of.
The court also said that it was not going to get into the details of the conditions imposed upon the spa operators.
Last week, the court had said it expected Delhi government to take a final decision on re-opening spas in the national capital while taking into consideration that the centres can be permitted to start functioning subject to conditions such as permitting only vaccinated employees and client and curtailing the number of persons at a time.
In its petition filed through HD Thanvi & Associates, the Delhi Wellness Spa Association had submitted that Delhi government’s decision to not open spas was arbitrary, unlawful, and unwarranted.
It stated that while all similar activities have been permitted to be opened, such as gym and salon, Delhi government is yet to permit spas to once again start their operation.
On July 5, the court had sought response of the Delhi government and the Centre on the plea filed by owners of two spa centers, alleging inordinate delay in issuing guidelines to reopen spa centres after their closure in April.
The court said that it expected Delhi government to be ready with an explanation as to why spas were not permitted to be open in spite of a January order which directed the reopening of spa centers closed during the first wave of the pandemic.
In the January order, the court stated that the slightly higher percentage of risk due to the proximity of the client and the service provider in spas could be obviated by prescribing stricter measures and safeguards rather than continuing to keep such establishments closed.