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Published On: Fri, May 1st, 2020

Lockdown Extended: What’s Allowed, What’s Not as Per MHA Guidelines

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Lock down-2NEW DELHI : Issuing guidelines for lock down 3.0, the Union Home Ministry said after having a comprehensive review and in view of the lock down measures having led to significant gains in the Covid-19 situation in the country, the government has decided to further extend the lock down for a period of two weeks beyond May 4, 2020.
In an order issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), the ministry laid down guidelines to be followed in different zones across the country – Red, Orange and Green – depending on the risk profiling of various districts.
For this extended lock down (Lockdown 3.0), all districts have been categorized into Red, Orange and Green Zones based on the health ministry’s risk profiling of each district. The MHA said this profiling was done to “regulate different activities” during the extended lock down. “The guidelines have permitted considerable relaxations in the districts falling in the Green and Orange Zones,” it said.

The home ministry added, “A large number of other activities are allowed in the Red Zones. All industrial and construction activities in rural areas, including MNREGA works, food-processing units and brick-kilns are permitted.”
The criteria for identification of districts as Red, Green and Orange zones have been listed out in detail by Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW). The Green zones will be districts with either zero confirmed cases till date; or, no confirmed case in the last 21 days.
Those districts, which are neither defined as Red nor Green, shall be classified as Orange zones. The classification of districts into Red, Green and Orange zones will be shared by MoHFW with all states and Union Territories (UTs) on a weekly basis, or earlier, as required.
While states and UTs can include additional districts as Red and Orange zones, they may not lower the classification of a district included by MoHFW in the aforementioned list.

The most sensitive areas of the country, from the spread of COVID-19 point of view, and falling within the Red and Orange zones, are designated as Containment zones. These are the areas where there is significant risk of spread of the infection.
The local authority shall ensure 100% coverage of Aarogya Setu app among the residents of the Containment zone. Containment Zones would have intensified surveillance protocols, with contact tracing, house to house surveillance, home/ institutional quarantining of persons based on their risk assessment, and clinical management.

However, a limited number of activities will remain prohibited throughout the country, irrespective of the zone. These activities include travel by air, rail, metro and inter-state movement by road; running of schools, colleges, and other educational and training/ coaching institutions.
Hospitality services, including hotels and restaurants; places of large public gatherings, such as cinema halls, malls, gymnasiums, sports complexes etc; social, political, cultural and other kinds of gatherings; and, religious places/ places of worship for public. However, movement of persons by air, rail and road is allowed for select purposes, and for purposes as permitted by MHA. Movement of individuals, for all non-essential activities, shall remain strictly prohibited between 7 PM to 7 AM.
Local authorities shall issue orders. In all zones, persons above 65 years of age, persons with co-morbidities, pregnant women, and children below the age of 10 years, shall stay at home, except for meeting essential requirements and for health purposes. Out-

Patient Departments (OPDs) and medical clinics shall be permitted to operate in Red, Orange and Green zones, with social distancing norms and other safety precautions in place. In Red zones certain activities are prohibited in addition to those prohibited throughout the country. These are: plying of cycle rickshaws and auto rickshaws, running of taxis and cab aggregators, intra-district and inter-district plying of buses, and, barber shops, spas and salons.

Few activities have been allowed in the Red zones with restrictions. Movement of individuals and vehicles is allowed only for permitted activities, with a maximum of 2 persons (besides the driver) in four-wheeler vehicles, and with no pillion rider in the case of two-wheeler.
Industrial establishments in urban areas, viz., Special Economic Zones (SEZs), Export Oriented Units (EOUs), industrial estates and industrial townships with access control have been permitted. The other industrial activities permitted are manufacturing units of essential goods, including drugs, pharmaceuticals, medical devices, their raw material and intermediates; production units, which require continuous process, and their supply chain; manufacturing of IT hardware; jute industry with staggered shifts and social distancing; and, manufacturing units of packaging material.

Shops in urban areas, for non-essential goods, are not allowed in malls, markets and market complexes. However, all standalone (single) shops, neighborhood (colony) shops and shops in residential complexes are permitted to remain open.

E-commerce activities, in the Red zones, are permitted only in respect of essential goods. Private offices can operate with up to 33% strength as per requirement, with the remaining persons working from home. All government offices shall function with senior officers of the level of Deputy Secretary and above at full strength, and the remaining staff attending up to 33% as per requirement.
However, Defence and Security services, Health and Family Welfare, Police, Prisons, Home Guards, Civil Defence, Fire and Emergency Services, disaster management and related services, National Informatics Centre (NIC), Customs, Food Corporation of India (FCI), National Cadet Corps (NCC), Nehru Yuvak Kendra (NYK) and municipal services shall function without any restrictions.
A large part of the financial sector remains open, which includes banks, non-banking finance companies (NBFCs), insurance and capital market activities, and credit co-operative societies.  Public utilities like utilities in power, water, sanitation, waste management, telecommunications and internet will remain open, and courier and postal services will be allowed to operate.
Most of the commercial and private establishments have been allowed in the Red zones. These include print and electronic media, IT and IT-enabled services, data and call centers, cold storage and warehousing services, private security and facility management services, and services provided by self-employed persons, except for barbers, etc.
In the Orange zones, in addition to activities permitted in Red zones, taxis and cab aggregators will be permitted with 1 driver and 1 passenger only. Inter-district movement of individuals and vehicles will be allowed for permitted activities only. Four wheeler vehicles will have maximum two passengers besides the driver and pillion riding will be allowed on two-wheeler.
In the Green zones, all activities are permitted except the limited number of activities which are prohibited throughout the country, irrespective of the zone. However, buses can operate with up to 50% seating capacity and bus depots can operate with up to 50% capacity.
All goods traffic is to be permitted. No state/ UT shall stop the movement of cargo for cross land-border trade under treaties with neighboring countries. No separate pass of any sort is needed for such movement, which is essential for maintaining the supply chain of goods and services across the country during the lockdown period.
(With Agency Inputs).












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