With the current lockdown 4.0 ending on May 31, 2020, the Union Ministry of the Home Affairs (MHA) issued new guidelines to fight COVID-19 and the phased reopening of areas outside the containment areas today. These guidelines would come into effect on June 1, 2020, and would be effective till June 30, 2020. The current phase of re-opening. The new guidelines were issued on the basis of extensive consultations held with States and UTs.
Salient features of the new guidelines under Unlock 1
Lockdown measures will continue to be implemented strictly in containment areas. These will be demarcated by state / UT governments, after observing guidelines issued by the Ministry of Health. Within containment areas, strict ocean control will be maintained and only basic activities will be allowed.
All activities previously prohibited in areas outside the containment areas will gradually be opened, with the following standard operating procedures (SOPs) required, to be prescribed by the Health Ministry:
The following activities will be permitted to open from June 8, 2020.
- Religious places and places of worship for the public;
- Hotels, restaurants and other hospitality services; and
- Shopping malls.
MoHFW would issue SOPs for the above activities for ensuring social distancing and to contain the spread of COVID-19.
- Schools, colleges, educational/ training/ coaching institutions, etc., will be opened after consultations with States and UTs.
- Based on the feedback, a decision on the re-opening of these institutions will be taken in the month of July 2020.
- MoHFW will prepare SOP for these institutions.
Based on the assessment of the situation, dates for re-starting the following activities will be decided:
- International air travel of passengers, except as permitted by MHA.
- Metro Rail.
- Cinema halls, gymnasiums, swimming pools, entertainment parks, theatres, bars and auditoriums, assembly halls, and similar places.
- Social/ political/ sports/ entertainment/ academic/ cultural/ religious functions and other large congregations.
Hence, till that time above limited activities will remain prohibited throughout the country.
Night curfew in Unlock 1
The night curfew will remain in effect, in the movement of individuals, for all non-essential activities. However, the revised curfew hours will be from 9 pm until 5 am.
Lockdown limited to Containment Zones
- The Lockdown will continue in force in the containment Zones until 30 June 2020.
- Containment Zones will be demarcated by the district authorities after observing the guidelines of MoHFW.
- In the Containment Zones, only essential activities shall be allowed. There shall be strict perimeter control to ensure that there is no movement of people in or out of these zones, except for medical emergencies and for maintaining the supply of essential goods and services.
- States / UTs may also identify buffer zones outside containment areas, where new cases are likely to occur. Within buffer zones, restrictions, as considered necessary, may be put in place by the District authorities.
States / UTs, based upon their assessment of the situation, prohibit certain activities outside the containment areas or impose such restrictions as deemed necessary.
Unrestricted Movement of Persons and Goods
- There are no restrictions on the inter-State and intra-State movement of people and goods. No separate permission/ approval/ e-permit would be required for such movements.
- However, if a State / UT, based on public health reasons and its assessment of the situation, the regulation of the movement of persons, it will notify in advance the restrictions that will be imposed on the said movement and the following related procedures.
Protection for vulnerable persons
Vulnerable people, i.e. persons over 65 years of age, persons with co-morbidities, pregnant women, and children under 10 years of age, are advised to stay at home, except for meeting essential requirements and for health purposes.