The home ministry has, in fresh guidelines, further relaxed the curbs which were there in the third phase of the lockdown.
Starting from Monday, 18th May 2020, the nationwide lockdown has entered its fourth phase of validity. The Centre has issued a notification in this regard on Sunday, 17th May 2020 which extends the curbs for two more weeks, up till 31st May 2020. But, as Prime Minister Narendra Modi had said in his address to the nation, Lockdown 4.0 is quite different from the previous three phases.
In tune with this announcement, the home ministry has issued the guidelines for the fourth phase of the nationwide lockdown, giving power to states and union territories to delineate red, green and orange zones as per their respective Covid-19 situations, taking into consideration the parametres shared by the union health ministry.
In this new guideline, the home ministry has also permitted the reopening of app-based cab services; has given permission to the functioning of all shops, markets and commercial establishments except those in malls; and has eased curbs on private offices that were previously allowed to function with 33% staff strength.
Listed below are the things you need to know about this Lockdown 4.0:
- All metro rail services, schools, colleges, hotels, restaurants will stay on to remain shut.
- Marketplaces have been allowed to open, but cinema halls, shopping malls, gymnasiums, swimming pools will remain closed. Sport complexes and stadiums have been permitted to open, but spectators will not be allowed.
- Inter-state movement of passenger vehicles and buses have been allowed with mutual consent of states and union territories involved.
- The zones – red, green, orange – containment zones and buffer zones will be decided by the states on the basis of parameters laid down by the ministry of health.
- In the containment zones, only the essential activities will be allowed.
- All other activities have been permitted in green, orange and red zones except those specifically prohibited.
- E-commerce activities for non-essential goods have now been permitted even in the red zones.
- The clause for private companies that made it mandatory for employees to use the ‘Aarogya Setu’ app, has now been removed.
- Large gatherings including religious, cultural, sports, political, will continue to be not permitted.
- All religious places/places of worship will continue to remain closed to the public. Religious congregations are still strictly prohibited.
- People over 65 years of age, people with co-morbidity, pregnant women and children below 10 years of age have been asked to stay at home, except for essential and health purposes.
Those activities that were allowed during the third phase of lockdown will continue to be permitted in the fourth phase as well; however, states have been given a lot of freedom to add restrictions in any area. It is important to note that the above activities will not be allowed in containment zones. In containment zones, the central government guidelines have only permitted essential services.
Enumerated below is the list of guidelines to be followed in this phase of Lockdown 4.0:
- Wearing face cover has been made mandatory in all public places.
- Spitting in public and workplaces has been made punishable with fine as per the rules and regulations of local authorities, states or union territories.
- Social distancing will continue in public places including markets, workplaces, public transport and ceremonies like marriages, etc.
- Not more than 50 guests are allowed for marriage functions.
- Funerals and last rites cannot be attended by more than 20 people.
- Consumption of liquor, gutka, pan-masala, tobacco will not be allowed in public places.
- Shops to ensure minimum 6-feet distance among customers and not allow more than 5 people at a time inside their shop.
- Provision for thermal scanning, hand-wash and sanitizers to be made at all entry and exit points and common areas.
- Creating or circulating a false alarm or warning about a disaster or its severity or magnitude that could lead to panic, shall on conviction, be punishable with imprisonment up to one year or with fine.
- Obstruction of any officer or employee of the central government or the state government or any authorized personnel shall be punishable.