THE Union Home Ministry today issued consolidated revised guidelines regarding lockdown measures to be taken by Ministries/Departments of Government of India, State/UT Governments for containment of COVID-19 epidemic in the country.
The guidelines also prescribe National Directives for COVID-19 management; Standard Operative Procedures (SOPs) for Social Distancing at offices, workplaces, factories and establishments; and, penalties for offences regarding violation of lockdown measures under relevant sections of Disaster Management Act 2005 and IPC, 1860.
Yesterday, the Government of India had extended the nationwide Lockdown till May 3, 2020. The revised guidelines to remain in force till the last day of Lockdown i.e. May 3.
The activities prohibited across the country include travel by air, rail and road; operation of educational and training institutions; industrial and commercial activities; hospitality services; all cinema halls, shopping complexes, theatres, etc., all social, political and other events, and opening of all religious places/ places of worship for members of public, including religious congregations.
There are certain national guidelines like mandatory home-made face covers at workplaces and in public places, strong hygiene and health care measures like provision of sanitisers, staggered shifts, access control, thermal screening and imposing fines for spitting etc. Penalties will be imposed for the violation.
The activities permitted under the revised guidelines, from April 20, 2020, will not be allowed within the containment zones as demarcated by States/ UTs/ District Administrations, as per the guidelines of Ministry of Health & Family Welfare (MoHF&W). In these zones, no unchecked inward/ outward movement of the population would be allowed, except for maintaining essential services, i.e., medical emergencies and law & order duties, and government business continuity. Only essential services are to be permitted in these zones and strict perimeter control and strict restrictions on movement enforced.
Transportation of goods will be permitted without any distinction of essential or non-essential. Farming operations, including procurement of agricultural products, agriculture marketing through notified Mandis and direct and decentralized marketing, manufacture, distribution and retail of fertilizers, pesticides and seeds; activities of marine and inland fisheries; animal husbandry activities, including the supply chain of milk, milk products, poultry and livestock farming; and tea, coffee and rubber plantations are allowed to be functional.
Industries operating in rural areas, including food processing industries; construction of roads, irrigation projects, buildings and industrial projects in rural areas; works under MNREGA, with priority to irrigation and water conservation works; and operation of rural Common Service Centres (CSCs) have all been allowed.
Manufacturing and other industrial establishments with access control have been permitted in SEZs, EoUs, industrial estates and industrial townships after implementation of SOP for social distancing. Manufacture of IT hardware and of essential goods and packagings are also allowed. Coal, mineral and oil production are permitted activities.
E-commerce operations, operations of IT and IT-enabled services, data and call centres for Government activities, and online teaching and distance learning are all permitted activities now.
The revised guidelines also permit all health services and the social sector to remain functional; public utilities to function without any hindrance; the supply chain of essential goods to operate without any hindrance; and, important offices of Central and State Governments and local bodies to remain open with the required strength.
Yesterday, the Union Home Secretary had written to all the States and UTs emphasizing that the States/UTs can’t dilute restrictions imposed by the MHA under the Disaster Management Act and the same to be strictly implemented without any dilution.
(With inputs from Press Information Bureau)
Read the guidelines here: Revised Consolidated Guidelines 15.04.2020