NEW DELHI: The Central government on Sunday extended the ongoing COVID-19 induced nation-wide lockdown till May 31, but with a set of new relaxations commencing from Monday.
The new guidelines issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) have been issued on the basis of suggestions received by Prime Minister Narendra Modi from the States on May 11.
The MHA has also given powers to States/UTs demarcate areas in Green, Orange and Red zones, which will allow them to start activities except in containment zones.
According to the guidelines, “All other activities will be permitted except those which are specifically prohibited under these guidelines. However, in containment zones, only essential activities shall be allowed, as mentioned earlier.”
List of activities to remain prohibited under Lockdown 4.0
* All domestic and international air travel of passengers, except for domestic medical services, domestic air ambulances and for security purposes or purposes as permitted by MHA will not operate.
* The movement of individuals will remain strictly prohibited between 7 pm and 7 am, except for essential activities.
* All metro rail services will remain suspended.
* School, colleges, educational/training/coaching institutions etc, will continue to remain shut.
* Hotels, restaurants and other hospitality services shall remain suspended.
* All cinema halls, shopping malls, gymnasiums, swimming pools, entertainment parks, theatres, bars and auditoriums, assembly halls and similar places will remain closed.
* All social/political/sports/entertainment/academic/cultural/religious functions/other gatherings and large congregations will not be allowed.
* All religious places/places of worship shall be closed for public, and religious congregations are strictly prohibited.
Activities to be allowed
* Hospitality services meant for housing health/police/government officials/healthcare workers/stranded persons including tourists for quarantine facilities shall be operational.
* Canteens at the bus depot, railway stations and airports will also be operational.
* Restaurants will be permitted to operate kitchens for home delivery of food items.
* Sports complexes and stadia will be permitted to open; however, spectators will not be allowed.
* Online distance learning shall continue to be permitted and shall be encouraged.
* All domestic and international air travel of passengers except for domestic medical services, domestic air ambulance and for security purposes or purposes as permitted by the government will remain prohibited.
* Inter-state movement of passenger vehicles and buses, with mutual consent of State(s) and UT(s) involved, except in containment zones.
* Inter-state movement of passenger vehicles and buses, as decided by the States and UT(s), except in containment zones.
* All States/UTs shall allow inter-state and intra-state movement of medical professionals, nurses and para-medical staff, sanitation personnel and ambulances without any restrictions.
* All States/UTs shall allow inter-state movement of all types of goods/cargos, including empty trucks.
Guidelines for States/UTs
* States and Union Territories (UTs) will now categorise Red, Green and Orange zones in accordance with the parameters shared by the Health Ministry. Now, each state will decide and declare its guidelines and norms.
* The zones can be a district, or a municipal corporation/municipality or even smaller administrative units such as sub-divisions, etc., as decided by States and UTs.
* Within the Red/Orange zones, containment and buffer zones will be identified by the district administration/ local urban bodies with technical inputs at the local level and by taking into consideration the Health Ministry’s guidelines.
* In the containment zones, only essential activities shall be allowed. There shall be strict perimeter control to ensure that there is no movement of people in or out of these zones, except for medical emergencies and for maintaining the supply of essential goods and services.
* States will be allowed to decide on services like salon, barbershop, spas, non-essential e-commerce in Green zones and orange zones for economic growth. Places that have been delineated Green and Orange Zone can have almost all services.
Travel allowed with restrictions
* Inter-state movement of passenger vehicles and buses with mutual consent of the State/UT involved or as decided by States and Union Territories except in containment zones.
Rules regarding shops and markets
* All shop owners must also ensure that customers maintain ‘do gaz doori’ (minimum six feet distance) and that not more than five people are allowed inside at any given time.
* Night curfew shall continue to remain in force on the movement of individuals, for all non-essential activities, between 7 pm and 7 am.
Protection for vulnerable persons
* Persons above 65 years of age, those with co-morbidities, and pregnant women shall stay at home except for essential and health purposes during the lockdown period, which has been extended till May 31.
Children below the age of 10 years shall also stay at home, except for essential and health purposes.