New Delhi | Jagran Business Desk: E-commerce websites Amazon and Flipkart on Monday began selling non-essential items like mobile phones, laptops, TV, other electronic gadgets, among others. These items will only be delivered in green, and orange zones except hotspots or containment zones as new rules of the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) come into force from today.

The MHA has announced special guidelines for the lockdown 3.0, which begins on May 3. More than 700 districts across the country have been divided into four categories: Green zones (no cases of COVID-19), Orange zones (less cases of coronavirus), Red zones (cases but not sealed), and containment zones (maximum cases and sealed areas). 

The e-commerce platforms need to adhere to these rules and are being allowed to sell items only in orange and green zones.

This means that the customers located in red zones, including major metropolitan cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Hyderabad will still be restricted. According to the government, the red zones can move into green zone if there are no confirmed cases reported for consecutive 21 days. 

Containment zones too must ensure no cases have been reported in the last 28 days to be removed from the hotspot zones list.

According to the Amazon India website, non-essential products will be available for order in select locations, and deliveries may take longer than usual. A lot of items like smartphones, laptops, smart speakers, smart TVs, etc.  

“We welcome the Government’s decision to allow e-commerce in Orange and Green Zones … Millions of small and medium businesses and traders will now be able to jump-start their businesses and livelihoods across their workforce," said an Amazon spokesperson as quoted by livemint.com

In the third phase of the nationwide lockdown (May 4-17) some relaxations have been provided to orange and green zones.

Earlier due to the nationwide lockdown only essential items, such as groceries, medicines were allowed to remain operational via e-commerce websites.

Posted By: James Kuanal