‘They have to abide’: Delhi HC on conditions for re-opening spas

The Delhi High Court on Monday said all spa operators have to abide with conditions imposed in the order passed by the Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) for their re-opening amid the Covid pandemic.

As Delhi government counsel cited the July 24 order, issued by the DDMA containing strict conditions for re-opening, a bench of Justice Rekha Palli insisted that spa operators have to abide by these. “They have to.”

According to the latest unlock guidelines, the DDMA has allowed spas to open from July 26, but all their employees have to be fully vaccinated or undergo RT-PCR test fortnightly.

The court made this observation during the hearing pleas to reopen spas, which have been shut since the beginning of the lockdown in the capital against the backdrop of second wave of Covid.

It emphasised that it is needless to say that all spa operators will abide by the conditions set out in the order, as it disposed of the petitions after taking note of Delhi government counsel’s submissions and also made it clear that it would refrain from getting into the details of the conditions imposed upon the spa operators.

The Delhi Wellness Spa Association, in its plea, had submitted that Delhi government’s decision to not open spas was arbitrary, unlawful, and unwarranted. It argued that all similar activities, such as gym and salons, have been allowed to open but spas are yet to be permitted to begin their operations.

Last week, the court had said it expected the Delhi government to take a final decision on re-opening spas. It asked the government to consider the centres can be permitted to start functioning subject to conditions amid the pandemic.

On July 5, the court had sought reply from Delhi government and the Centre on the plea filed by owners of two spa centres, alleging excessive delay in issuing guidelines to reopen spa centres. The court had sought explanation from the Delhi government as to why spas were not permitted, against the backdrop of the January order which directed the reopening of spa centres closed during the first wave of the pandemic.