Lockdown 5.0 Guidelines: A day before the fourth phase of a nationwide lockdown is lifted, the Ministry of Home Affairs Saturday issued fresh guidelines for the phased re-opening of all activities outside containment zones for the next one month.
The Centre has announced the reopening in three phases, with the first one allowing hotels, shopping malls, and religious places to open. Night curfew will continue, however, the timings have been relaxed from 7 pm- 7 am to 9 pm-5 am.
However, States will have the freedom to put suitable restrictions on the allowed activities if they deem it necessary for the containment of the coronavirus outbreak. Besides, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare will issue a standard operating procedure for all these activities which are now being permitted.
Here’s what’s allowed and what’s not
In Phase 1 of the reopening of restricted activities, religious places, hotels, restaurants and other hospitality services, and shopping malls will be allowed to open, starting June 8.
Schools, colleges, educational/training/coaching institutions will be opened in the next phase after consultations with States and Union Territories. According to the MHA guidelines, “State/UT governments may hold consulations at the institution level with parents and other stakeholders.”
A decision of re-opening of these institutions will be taken in July.
Dates for the re-starting of prohibited activities will be decided in the third phase in August. International air travel, metro operations, cinema halls, gymnasiums, swimming pools, entertainment parks, theatres, bars and auditoriums, assembly halls will, thus, remain closed for now.
All events and large congregations, including social, political, sports, entertainment, academic, cultural or religious functions continue to remain prohibited till the third phase.
Unrestricted public movement
The Centre has allowed for unrestricted movement of persons and goods inter and intra-state, adding that “no separate permission/approval or e-permit will be required for such movements”.
However, states have been allowed to regulate the movement of persons based on “reasons of public health and its assessment of the situation.”
Movement of passenger trains and Shramik special trains, domestic air travel and movement of Indian nationals stranded outside the country will be allowed unrestricted. Also, evacuation of foreign nationals, and sign-on and sign-off of Indian seafarers will continue to be regulated as per the SOPs.
According to the new guidelines, no state or Union Territory shall stop the movement of any type of goods/cargo for cross land-border trade.
Night curfew will continue to remain from 9 pm to 5 am, except for essential activities. “Local authorities shall issue orders in the area of their jurisdiction, under appropriate provisions of law, Section 144 of CrPC, and ensure strict compliance,” the order stated. Currently, the curfew timings are from 7 pm to 7 am.
Aarogya Setu for office goers
The Centre has asked employers to ensure that Aarogya Setu, the government’s contact-tracing app, is installed by all employees. District authorities have also been advised to install the app and regularly update their health status. “This will facilitate timely provision of medical attention to those individuals who are at risk.”
Lockdown in containment zones extended for a month
Lockdown restrictions will continue in all containment zones till June 30, and only essential services will be allowed in the time being. States and Union Territories may also identify Buffer Zones outside the Containment Zones where new cases are more likely to occur. Within the buffer zones, restrictions as considered necessary may be put in place by the District authorities.
Persons above 65 years of age, persons with co-morbidities, pregnant women, and children below the age of 10 years are also advised to stay at home.