New Guidelines for Lockdown: Modified rules to come into effect from 20 April; restrictions on agricultural activities, goods movement eased
The Ministry of Home Affairs issued revised guidelines to be followed from 20 April during the lockdown imposed to stop the spread of coronavirus. The lockdown, earlier slated to last till 14 April, has been extended to 3 May
The Ministry of Home Affairs on Wednesday issued revised guidelines to be followed from 20 April during the lockdown imposed to stop the spread of coronavirus. The lockdown, which was earlier slated to last till 14 April, has been extended to 3 May.
In the order dated 15 April, the ministry has eased certain restrictions on the agricultural and industrial sectors, but rail, air and other public transport and educational institutions will remain shut. State, Union Territory and district administrations have also been asked to ensure social distancing in offices, workplaces. Additionally, these guidelines will not apply to areas declared containment zones.
Industrial activities and hospitality services, taxis and auto and cycle rickshaws and social, political, academic, entertainment and religious gatherings will not be allowed. No more than 20 people will be allowed to be present at funerals and people will be allowed to move between districts and states only if they are medical or other identified workers.
All health services, including hospitals, nursing homes, clinics, dispensaries, chemists, AYUSH practitioners will remain open. Pharmaceutical and medical research labs carrying out COVID-19-related research can also be functional. Veterinary hospitals, clinics, labs and medicine suppliers can also conduct business. Farmers and farm workers have been allowed to work on field and the mandis operated by the Agricultural Produce Market Committee (APMC), manufacture and sale of fertilisers and seeds and movement of farm equipment have also been permitted. Courier services will also be permitted, irrespective or essential or non-essential. Wearing masks in public and at workplaces will remain mandatory.
What is not allowed:
1. Air, rail travel
2. Taxis, auto and cycle rickshaws, cab aggregator services
3. Commercial, hospitality services
4. Social, political, academic, entertainment and religious gatherings
5. Cinema halls, malls, shopping complexes, gyms, sports complexes, swimming pools entertainment parks, bars and auditoriums
What is allowed:
1. Inter-district and inter-state movement of individuals for medical reasons or for exempted activities under these guidelines
2. Trains and flights for cargo movement, relief and evacuation
3. Movement of all trucks and other goods/carrier vehicles with two drivers and one helper
4. All facilities in the supply chain of essential goods
5. Police, home guards, civil defence, fire and emergency services, disaster management, prisons and municipal services
6. Hospitals, nursing homes, clinics, dispensaries, chemists, AYUSH practitioners
7. Veterinary hospitals, clinics, labs and medicine suppliers
8. Manufacturing units of drugs, pharmaceuticals, medical devices, and medical oxygen
9. Courier services
10. Services provided by self-employed persons, like electricians, IT repairs, plumbers, motor mechanics and carpenters
11. Private vehicles for emergency services and for procuring essential commodities
12. Farmers and farm workers in fields, procurement agencies, APMC mandis
13. Fisheries and processing, packaging and movement of its products
14. Cultivation, processing, packaging of tea, coffee and rubber with a maximum of 50 percent workers
15. Collection, processing and sale of milk and milk products, operation of animal husbandry farms, animal shelter homes and livestock farming activity
16. Reserve Bank of India and RBI-regulated financial markets and entities, bank branches and ATMs and IRDAI and insurance companies
17. Observation homes, homes for care of children, disabled, senior citizens, women and mentally challenged
18. Disbursement of social security pensions
19. Anganwadis will distribute food items once in 15 days at the doorsteps of beneficiaries
20. MNREGA works, with priority to irrigation and water conservation works
21. Oil and gas sector, power generation and distribution, telecommunication and internet utility providers
22. Postal services, including post offices
23. Print and electronic media, cable and DTH services, call centres for government activities
24. Hotels, homestays, lodges and motels accommodating tourists and persons stranded due to lockdown, medical and emergency staff, air and sea crew
25. Industries and brick kilns in rural areas
26. Construction of roads, irrigation and renewable energy projects and buildings
27. Defence, Central Armed Police Forces, Health and Family Welfare, Disaster management and Early Warning Agencies (IMO, INCOIS, SASE and National Centre of Seismology, CWC), National Informatics Centre (NIC), Food Corporation of India (FCI), NCC, Nehru Yuva Kendras and Customs
Violations will be dealt with Sections 51 to 60 of the Disaster Management Act, 2005, under which the violator may be punished with up to two years in jail and/or a fine. Additionally, disobedience of the order will be considered a violation of Section 188 in the Indian Penal Code, to be penalised with up to one month of jail or Rs 200 fine.
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