Home Ministry New Lockdown Guidelines: A day after extending the lockdown to May 3, the government Wednesday released revised guidelines under which activities like agriculture, Information Technology, e-commerce and movement of trucks and goods carriers will be allowed from April 20 to “mitigate hardships to public.”
Under the revised guidelines, the exemptions from the lockdown have also been granted to all health services, financial services, MNREGA works, public utilities, the supply of goods, e-commerce and cargo services. The government has also made face masks mandatory in public as well as work spaced and also emphasised on practising social distancing.
Meanwhile, the death toll due to the coronavirus epidemic rose to 392 and the total number of infections crossed the 12,000-mark in India.
What is allowed
- All health services and the social sector to remain functional; public utilities to function without any hindrance
- Chemists, pharmacies, veterinary hospitals to remain open. Manufacturing units of drugs, medical equipment, construction of media infrastructure to be allowed.
- 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 live-stock 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.
- Operation of the fishing, aquaculture industry. Movement of fish products now allowed.
- Operations of tea, coffee and rubber plantations, with maximum of 50 per cent worker.
- Collection, processing, distribution and sale of milk and milk products.
- Operation of animal husbandry farm.
- Operation of animal shelter homes
- The important components of the financial sector, e.g., RBI, banks, ATMs, capital and debt markets as notified by SEBI and insurance companies will also remain functional
- SEBI, and capital and debt market services as notified by the Securities and Exchange Board of India
- IRDAI and Insurance companies
- Operation of homes for children, mentally disabled, senior citizens, destitutes
- Operation of Anganwadis, observation homes. Disbursement of social security measures
- MNREGA works are allowed with strict implementation of social distancing and face mask
- Petrol pumps, LPG, Petroleum and gas retail and storage outlets
- Generation, transmission and distribution of power at Central and State/UT levels
- Postal services, including post offices
- Operations at municipal, local body levels
- Telecommunications and internet
Transport and Goods
- Transportation of goods will be permitted without any distinction of essential or non essential.
- Operation of railways, airports, seaports for transport of good and cargo movement
- Operation of land ports for transport of essential services
- Movement of all trucks with two drivers and one helper
- All facilities in supply chain of essential goods.
- Shops, including ration shops (under PDS), dealing with food, groceries, fruits and vegetables, dairy and milk booths, meat and fish, animal fodder, fertilizers, seeds and pesticides. No restriction on timing. However, district authorities may encourage and facilitate home delivery to minimize the movement of individuals outside their homes.
- Print and electronic media.
- E-commerce operations, couriers services are allowed
- Cold storage and warehousing services.
- Data and call centers for Government activities only.
- Hotels, home stays, lodges and motels, which are accommodating tourists and persons stranded due to lockdown, medical and emergency staff, air and sea crew.
- Services provided by self-employed persons like electrician, plumber
- In addition to manufacturing of essential goods and rural industries, establishments engaged in production of coal, mine, mineral, packaging material, jute, brick kilns
- Manufacturing and other industrial establishments with access control will be allowed in SEZs, EoUs, industrial estates and industrial townships after implementation of SOP for social distancing. Manufacture of IT hardware and of essential goods and packaging can resume.
- Construction of roads, irrigation projects, buildings and all kinds of industrial projects
- Construction of renewable energy products
- Defence, Central Armed Police Forces, Health and Family Welfare, Disaster management and Early Warning Agencies
- Police, home guards, civil defence, fire and emergency services
- All other departments of State/UT to work with restricted staff
What is not allowed
- 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.
- In containment zones, no unchecked inward/ outward movement of population would be allowed, except for maintaining essential services, i.e., medical emergencies and law & order duties, and government business continuity.
- All educational institutions to remain shut
- Gatherings of more than five persons has been banned. Spitting in public has been made punishable with a fine, and the ban of liquor, gutka, tobacco etc has been strictly imposed.
The MHA has said action will be taken under Section 51 to 60 of the Act and Section 188 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) if any individual is found in violation of the guidelines.
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