The Government on Sunday extended the ongoing nationwide lockdown, currently in it's third phase, until May 31 next. The order of lockdown extension was issued by the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA).
Issuing an order, the NDMA wrote, "Considering the fact that the lockdown measures need to be implemented for a further period in the country to contain the spread of COVID-19, NDMA, in exercise of powers under Section 6 (2) (i) of the Disaster Management Act, 2005, hereby directs the Ministries/Departments of Government of India, state governments and state authorities to continue lockdown measures up to 31st May, 2020..
The NDMA has asked the National executive council, headed by Union home secretary, to issue modifications to the guidelines keeping in view the need to resume economic activities.
The MHA released guidelines for the fourth phase are as follows:
The following activities are not permitted during the extended lockdown
i. All domestic and international air travel of passengers, except for domestic medical services, domestic air ambulance and for security purposes or purposes as permitted by MHA.
ii. Metro rail services.
iii. Schools, colleges, educational/ training/ coaching institutions etc. will remain closed. Online/ distance learning shall continue to be permitted and shall be encouraged.
iv. Hotels, restaurants and other hospitality services, except those meant for housing health/ police/ Government officials/ healthcare workers/ stranded persons including tourists and for quarantine facilities; and running of canteens at bus depots, railway stations and airports. Restaurants shall be permitted to operate kitchens for home delivery of food items.
v. All cinema halls, shopping malls, gymnasiums, swimming pools, entertainment parks, theatres, bars and auditoriums, assembly halls and similar places. Sports complexes and stadia will be permitted to open; however, spectators will not be allowed.
vi. All social/ political/ sports/ entertainment/ academic/ cultural/ religious functions/ other gatherings and large congregations. vii. All religious places/ places of worship shall be closed for public. Religious congregations are strictly prohibited.
What is Allowed:
Interstate movement of passenger vehicles and buses, with mutual consent of the states and union territories.
Intra-state movement of passenger vehicles and buses as decided by the states and union territories.
Meanwhile, the delineation of red, green, and orange zones will be decided by the states and the union territories and taking into consideration parameters shared by the Ministry of Health. Within the red and orange zones, containment and buffer zones will be demarcated by the district authorities.
Only "essential activities" shall be allowed in the containment zones.
Night curfew shall continue and the movement of individuals shall remain prohibited from 7 pm to 7 am, except for essential activities.
Meanwhile, persons above 65 years of age, persons with co-morbidities, pregnant women, and children below the age of 10 shall stay at home.
States and Union Territories, based on their assessment of the situation, may prohibit certain other activities in the various zones, or impose such restrictions as may be deemed necessary.
Employers, meanwhile, have been urged to ensure that their employees use the Arogya Setu app.
There shall be no barring in the inter and intra-state movement of vehicles carrying health professionals and goods.
It may be mentioned here that Union Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba will hold a video conference with State Chief Secretaries at 9 pm later tonight. The nationwide lockdown began on March 25 and was subsequently extended twice. The current phase of the lockdown is slated to expire on May 17.