The nationwide lockdown in India has been extended till May 31 and the Ministry of Home Affairs has issued a fresh set of guidelines for the fourth phase of the lockdown.
Unlike the previous phases of the lockdown, the Union government has asked the respective state and Union Territory governments to decide the delineation of red, green and orange zones. The governments can also prohibit or impose restrictions in various zones depending on the situation.
Since not expressly prohibited, services like barbershops, salons and spas may be allowed to run, as can e-commerce services for non-essential items, if the respective state governments do not object.
The guidelines also do not restrict factories or offices from opening, but working from home must be permitted as far as possible. For employees going to workplaces, the guidelines give additional directives, and state that business hours must be staggered, persons in charge must ensure physical distancing, adequate gaps between shifts, staggered lunch breaks etc. The entire workplace needs to be frequently sanitised, and common facilities and touch points must be sanitised, including in between shifts. Provisions for thermal scanning, hand wash and sanitisers should also be made.
Activities prohibited across India
— The movement of individuals shall remain strictly prohibited between 7 pm and 7 am, except for essential activities.
— All domestic and international air travel continues to be prohibited, except for air ambulances, medical services and security purposes.
— All schools, colleges and training institutions will also continue to remain shut for this duration, as well as metro rail services.
— Hotels, restaurants and other hospitality services — except for specified reasons such as those housing health/policy government officials, healthcare workers, and stranded persons — will remain shut. This excludes canteens at bus depots, railway stations and airports.
— Cinema halls, shopping malls, gymnasium swimming pools, entertainment parks, theatres, bars and auditoriums, assembly halls and similar places will continue to remain shut.
— All classifications of gatherings or functions and large congregations will remain prohibited as well. Religious places and places of worship shall be closed for the public and religious congregations are strictly prohibited.
All other activities will be permitted, except those which are specifically prohibited.
The following activities will be permitted, but with some restrictions. However, these are not applicable to containment zones.
— Restaurants shall be permitted to operate kitchens for home delivery of food items.
— Inter-state movement of passenger vehicles and buses, with mutual consent of the States/UTs involved.
— Intra-state movement of passenger vehicles and buses, as decided by the states and UTs.
— Sports complexes and stadiums will be permitted to open, without any spectators.
Within the Red and Orange zones, the district authorities will demarcate the containment zones and buffer zones, after taking into consideration the health ministry’s guidelines.
> Only essential activities shall be allowed in containment zones.
> There shall be strict perimeter control to ensure no movement of people in or out of these zones, except for medical emergencies and for maintaining the supply of essential goods and services.
> There will be intensive contact tracing, house-to-house surveillance, and other clinical interventions, as required, in containment zones.
Other than these, like the previous phase of the lockdown, Wearing of face cover is compulsory in all public and work places and spitting in public and work places shall be punishable with fine, as may be prescribed in accordance with its laws, rules or regulations by the State/ UT local authority.
Social distancing shall be followed by all persons in public places and in transport, the guidelines state.
Marriage-related gathering shall ensure social distancing, and the maximum number of guests allowed shall not be more than 50. Funeral/last rites-related gathering shall ensure social distancing, and the maximum numbers allowed shall not be more than 20.
Consumption of liquor, paan, gutka, tobacco etc. in public places is not allowed. Shops have been instructed to ensure a minimum six feet distance (2 gaz ki door) among customers and shall not allow more than 5 persons at the shop.