There will be considerable relaxations in the districts falling in the Green and Orange Zones, the government said.
New Delhi: The nationwide coronavirus lockdown will be extended by two more weeks after May 4, the government said today, noting significant gains from the six-week shutdown in India’s fight to slow the spread of COVID-19.
Extending the lockdown for the second time, the home ministry announced new guidelines based on the demarcation of the country into red (hotspot), green and orange zones.
While there will be considerable relaxations in the districts in the green and orange zones, some bans will apply across the country, regardless of the grading.
Travel by air, rail, metro and inter-state movement by road will remain banned except if permitted by MHA
Schools, colleges and other educational and training institutes; hospitality services including hotels and restaurants; cinema halls, malls, shopping centres, gyms and sports complexes will also stay shut.
Social, political, cultural and religious gatherings and places of worship will also not resume for now.
Movement of people by air, rail and road will be allowed for select purposes and for purposes as permitted by the home ministry, say the guidelines.
Today, the government allowed special trains to take migrants stranded across the country to their home states.
The new guidelines say “for the well-being and safety” of people, movement for all non-essential activities will be banned between 7 pm and 7 am.
Laws such as Section 144, which bans large gatherings, will be used to enforce this.
In all zones, persons above 65 years of age, persons with co-morbidities, pregnant women and children below 10 will stay at home, except for essential purposes.
Out-Patient Departments (OPDs) and Medical clinics shall be permitted to operate in all areas but containment zones, with social distancing norms and other safety precautions.
No activity will be allowed in containment zones except most essential movement and there will be surveillance and house to house checks there.
All goods traffic will be allowed between states, without passes.
In “Red Zones”, which have the most number of COVID-19 cases, cycle rickshaws and auto rickshaws; taxis and cab aggregators; intra-district and inter-district buses; barber shops, spas and salons will remain closed.
Cars with a maximum of two persons besides the driver and two-wheelers with a single rider will be allowed in red zones.
Manufacturing units of essential goods like drugs and medical devices, IT hardware and the jute industry will be allowed with staggered shifts and social distancing.
Construction activities in urban areas have been limited to workers available on site, not brought in from outside and construction of renewable energy projects.
Standalone (single) shops, neighborhood (colony) shops and shops in residential complexes are permitted to remain open in urban areas, whether for essential or non-essential goods.
In red zones, e-commerce will be allowed only for essential goods. Private offices can operate with up to 33% strength, with the rest on Work From Home.
In red zones, all industrial and construction activities, food-processing units and brick-kilns are permitted; all shops, except in shopping malls, will be allowed. Agricultural activities have also been permitted.
Banks, non-banking finance companies (NBFCs), insurance and capital market activities, and credit co-operative societies. Public utilities, e.g., utilities in power, water, sanitation, waste management, telecommunications and internet will remain open, and courier and postal services will be allowed to operate.
Print and electronic media, IT and IT-enabled services, data and call centres, cold storage and warehousing services, private security and facility management services, and services provided by self-employed people like plumbers and electricians will be allowed (not barbers).
In the Orange Zones, taxis and cab aggregators will be permitted with one driver and one passenger. Inter-district movement of individuals and vehicles will be allowed for permitted activities only.
Cars can have two passengers besides the driver and pillion riding will be allowed on two-wheelers.
In the Green Zones, all activities will reopen except those banned across the country. But in these areas, buses can operate with upto 50% seating capacity.