The Union Ministry for Home Affairs (MHA) on Wednesday (15 April) released new guidelines for the phase two of the nationwide lockdown, from 15 April - 3 May, to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus in the country.
The guidelines also carry the details of conditional relaxation in the lockdown measures from 20 April in areas where the outbreak has been contained efficiently, as told by Prime Minister (PM) Narendra Modi in his address on Tuesday.
While informing the nation about the decision of the lockdown extension until 3 May, he said the government will closely monitor all districts, towns, and localities in the country and see if they are implementing the lockdown norms strictly.
Based on their success in that and ensuring that they do not have new COVID-19 hotspots emerging, the decision of providing some relief will be taken with certain conditions, said the PM.
The Home Ministry, in a press release, stated that the exemptions will only be provided in the areas that are not listed as containment zones and will be valid in accordance with the strict compliance of the provisions of the Disaster Management Act, 2005.
“In order to mitigate hardship to the public, select additional activities would be allowed, which would come into effect from 20th April, 2020. However, these additional activities would be operationalised by States/ Union Territories (UTs)/ District Administrations based on strict compliance to the existing guidelines on lockdown measures,” read the press release.
“Before operating these relaxations, States/ UTs/ District Administrations shall ensure that all preparatory arrangements with regard to social distancing in offices, workplaces, factories and establishments, and other sectoral requirements are in place.”
These services will be fully-functional after April 20 according to news guidelines:
- All Medical facilities that include Aayush, health infrastructure related works.
- Agriculture and Horticulture related activities including Mandis run by Agriculture Produce Market Committee (APMC) or notified by State/Union government.
- Movement of cargos by airways and railways.
- Financial sector including RBI, bank branches and ATMs, SEBI.
- MGNREGA related work.
- Industries related to the production of essential goods, industries in rural areas.
- Movement of cargos and essential items across the country.
- Public utilities such as oil and gas sector.
- E-commerce companies’ operations.
- Infrastructure projects such as the construction of roads, buildings, irrigation projects including MSME in rural areas.
- IT companies, but with only 50 per cent staff and under the strict provisions of social distancing norms.
- Movement of private vehicles in case of any medical emergency. In the case of Two-wheelers, only the driver will be allowed.
- Offices of departments under the government of India and its subordinates.
- Offices of state governments, union territories and their autonomous/subordinates.
- IRDAI and insurance companies.
- Social sector including observation homes, after-care homes and Anganwadis.
- Postal services along with post offices across the country.
- Public utility works such as water, sanitation and waste management by Municipal/local bodies in states and union territories.
- Trucks with two drivers and a helper. Empty trucks to pick up goods or to return after delivering goods.
- Truck repair shops and dhabas on highways with prescribed social distancing norms.
- Common Service Centres (CSCs) approved by government at gram panchayat level.
- Private security services and facilities management services to ensure the security and maintenance of office complexes.
- Hotels, home-stays, lodges and motels which are accommodating tourists stranded due to lockdown.
- Services by electricians, IT repairs, plumbers, motor mechanics and carpenters.
Services to remain suspended until May 3:
- Passenger transport by Railways, airways or buses along with metro service in big cities.
- Inter-state and Inter-district movement of persons, except for the condition exempted.
- All industrial and commercial activities other than specifically exempted.
- All educational, training and coaching institutions.
- All cab and taxi services including auto rickshaws and cycle rickshaws.
- Hospitality services other than specifically exempted.
- All places of public gathering such as malls, cinema halls, shopping complex, gymnasiums, sports complex., swimming pools, entertainment parks
- In funerals and congregations, attendance of more than 20 people.
- Religious or place of worship. Religious congregation strictly prohibited.
The MHA issued orders to all the ministries/departments of Government of India and state governments /Union Territory administrations for the strict implementation of enclosed consolidated revised guidelines.
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