New Delhi: Soon after the Union Home Ministry issued guidelines for Unlock 3, the Maharashtra government on Wednesday extended the lockdown in the state till August 31.Also Read - 'PM Said It's An Individual Responsibility': Karnataka Minister Refuses To Wear Mask

The decision to extend the lockdown was taken as the state crossed the four-lakh mark in the day. Issuing the notification, Chief Secretary Sanjay Kumar said the decision has been taken as an emergency step to contain the spread of COVID-19. Also Read - Omicron Spreading Far Too Intensely, Narrative That it is Mild Misleading: WHO Chief

Part of the state government’s ‘Mission Begin Again’ plan, malls and market complexes without theatres, food courts and restaurants will be operational between 9 AM and 7 PM from August 5. Also Read - Mumbai Zoo Gets New Star Attractions, Welcomes Royal Bengal Tiger Cub & Humboldt Penguin Chick

Notably, the state government had last month extended the lockdown till July 31 amid a steady growth in the COVID-19 cases in the state.

In the notification, the state government said movement of people for purpose of non-essential activities like shopping and outdoor exercises shall be restricted within neighbourhood area limits with mandatory precautions of wearing masks, social distancing and personal hygiene.

It said that the unrestricted movement will be allowed only for attending place of work which are open and for medical reasons.

However, large public gatherings and congregations will continue to remain prohibited, and marriage-related gatherings will have only up to 50 guests.