Lockdown 4.0: Delhi to see more economic activities from Monday as city set to come out of red zone

New Delhi, May 17 (PTI) More economic activities are likely to resume in Delhi from Monday as the national capital, which is entirely in the red zone, is likely to come out of this category, with the centre allowing states to delineate all three zones -- red, green and orange.

On the last day of lockdown 3.0 on Sunday, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said a detailed plan to ease restrictions in the city will be announced on Monday, and claimed that centre's latest guidelines for the fourth phase of COVID-19-induced lockdown are largely in line with the proposal sent by the Delhi government.

Lockdown 4.0 will come into force from Monday.

Sources in the government said that the AAP dispensation will implement all the guidelines announced by the Union government for the next phase of lockdown relaxations.

With this move, the Delhi government will have more authority to allow activities in accordance with central guidelines.

The Delhi government had earlier demanded that the entire city may not be declared as red zone and instead COVID-19 cases be categorised by municipal wards and not by districts.

All 11 districts of the city are currently in red zone according to the Union health ministry, which has made life difficult for Delhiites due to greater restrictions on activities as compared to orange and green zones.

Among the economic activities likely to resume in Delhi from Monday are opening of markets and plying of buses, sources said. However, around 20 passengers will be allowed in a bus to maintain social-distancing norms.

The centre on Sunday allowed inter and intra-state movement of public vehicles with conditions and reopening of all shops except those in malls and COVID-19 containment zones as it extended the nationwide lockdown till may 31.

More liquor shops too are likely to start operating during the fourth phase of lockdown as the Delhi government had allowed around 150 state-run shops to open during the third phase of restrictions. There are around 850 liquor shops in Delhi.

However, flight and Metro services and all kinds of public gatherings will remain barred in Delhi.

In a series of tweets, Kejriwal said that his government had utilised the lockdown period to prepare the city's healthcare system in case there is a spike in COVID-19 cases.

'Centre's guidelines are largely in line with the proposal sent by Delhi govt based on suggestions of lakhs of Delhiites.

'We have used the lockdown period to prepare our healthcare system if Corona cases increase, but it is now time to relax the restrictions to some extent,' he said in a tweet.

'Delhi govt will prepare the detailed plan for Delhi based on the Centre's guidelines and announce it tomorrow (Monday),' he said in another tweet.

Earlier, the AAP government issued a statement, saying, 'We do expect a slight increase in cases when the economy reopens and Delhi is prepared to deal with it. We have always been saying that we all will now have to learn to live with Corona.' 'We used the last two month lockdown period to prepare ourselves for dealing with coronavirus by improving necessary logistics and health infrastructure,' the government said in the statement.

Issuing a nine-page guidelines, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) said metro rail services, schools, colleges will remain closed till May end.

Hotels, restaurants, cinema halls, malls, swimming pools, gyms will also remain shut even as all social, political, religious functions, and places of worship will be closed till May 31, it said.

Night curfew will continues to remain in place from 7 pm to 7 am and local authorities shall ensure strict compliance with it, the order said.

The government directed people above the age of 65 years, those with comorbidities, pregnant women and children below the age of 10 years to stay at home as they are more vulnerable to the deadly virus.

The centre has, however, opened sports complexes and stadia but banned entry of spectators.

Taking a view of limited air services opened for bringing stranded Indians home and taking people through trains, the centre allowed running of canteens at bus depots, railway stations and canteens.

Restaurants shall be allowed to operate their kitchen for home delivery of food items.

Local authorities should ensure that shops in markets, except in containment zones, open with staggered timings so as to ensure social distancing.

All shops shall have to ensure 6 feet distance (2 gaz ki doori) among customers and not allow more than 5 people to enter at one time.

In his recommendations to centre on May 14, Kejriwal had suggested opening of markets, shopping complexes and operation of buses and metro services with strict social distancing norms.

He had also suggested operation of construction activities and that movement of labourers within Delhi be allowed. PTI BUN RHL