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Lockdown in states: What is allowed, and what isn’t 

For most of the states the lockdown will be in force from Monday morning till March 31 midnight. But what does a lockdown mean in the Indian context? 

Lockdown in states: What is allowed, and what isn't  Coronavirus in India: In New Delhi, during the Janata Curfew on Sunday. (Express Photo: Prem Nath Pandey)

As the Janata Curfew was on Sunday, Delhi and many other states took the Centre’s advise to enforced a full lockdown in its districts to contain the spread of COVID-19. For most of the states the lockdown will be in force from Monday morning till March 31 midnight. But what does a lockdown mean in the Indian context? 

The orders issued by the governments of Delhi and Uttarakhand under the Epidemic Diseases Act of 1897 provide some clues. A lot of the elements are common. For instance, both states forbid the congregation of more than five people at a place. Both states have sealed its borders and forbidden public transport. And all violations of the orders shall be prosecuted under relevant sections of the IPC.

The Delhi lockdown order: Do’s and Don’ts

– No public transport services including operation of private buses, taxis, autorickshaws, rickshaws, e-rickshaws etc. shall be permitted. Only DTC buses shall operate at not more than 25% capacity to cater to personnel engaged in essential services.

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– All shops, commercial establishments, factories, workshops, offices, godowns, weekly bazaars etc. shall close their operations.

– Motorable and un-motorable borders of NCT of Delhi with the neighbouring states of Haryana and Uttar Pradesh shall be sealed.

 – Movement of interstate buses/trains/Metro (DMRC) shall be suspended.

– All domestic/international flights arriving to Delhi during this period shall be suspended.

– Construction activity of any kind shall be suspended.

– All religious places of any denomination shall be closed. 


– People are required to stay at home and come out only for basic services (as enumerated below) within the vicinity of their residences while strictly following the social distancing guidelines issued earlier.

Closed shops at Connaught Place as the country observes Janata Curfew on Sunday. (Express photo by Abhinav Saha)

However, the following services/establishments are excluded from the purview of this order and shall continue to function normally:

a. Officers charged with law and order and magisterial duties

b. Police

c. Health

d. Fire

e. Prisons

f. Fair Price Shops (Public Distribution Systems)

g. Electricity

h. Water

i. Municipal Services


j. Activities related to functioning of Legislative Assembly of Delhi

k. Pay and Accounts Office (only for salary/wages/contingent/health and essential services related expenditure)

l. Print and electronic media

m. Cashier/Taylor operations of banks (including ATMs)

n. Telecom, internet and postal services

o. E-commerce of all essential goods including food, pharmaceutical and medical equipments

p. food items, groceries (fruits/vegetables/milk/bakery items, meat, fish etc.)

q. Milk plants

r. General provision stores

s. take away/home delivery in restaurants

t. chemists and pharmacies

u. petrol pumps, LPG/oil agencies (including their go down and transportation-related activities)

v. Animal fodder


w. Manufacturing, processing, transportation, distribution, storage, trade/commerce and logistics related to all above services/establishments and commodities required for delivery of these above services

x. any other essential service/establishment that may be exempted by the government


Also read | Complete shutdown of passenger train services till March 31

The aforesaid establishments/services that are permitted to function shall strictly follow the guidelines and protocol related to social distance in, without deviation. People who come out to provide or avail essential services shall be allowed on their self-declaration. Any congregation of more than five persons is strictly prohibited and punishable. All employees of private establishments required to stay at home in view of this order shall be treated as “on duty” and be paid in full. Violations of the order shall be prosecuted as per the relevant provisions of law.

Coronavirus: A view of Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi during the Janata Curfew on Sunday. (Express Photo: Abhinav Saha)

The Uttarakhand lockdown order

– No public transport services including operation of taxis, auto-rickshaws will be permitted. The exception will include transport of all kinds to and from hospitals and airports. For to and fro airport transfers, caring and producing valid documentation is mandatory.

– All shops, commercial establishments, offices and factories, workshops, godowns etc. shall close their operations

– All domestic/foreign returnees to the state are directed to remain under strict home quarantine for a period as decided by local health authorities

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– People are required to stay at home and come out only for basic services while strictly following social distancing guidelines issued earlier

However, the following establishments providing essential services shall be excluded from the above restrictions:

i. Office charged with law and order and magisterial duties ( District Magistrate, ADM/SDM and Tehsil )

ii. Police

iii. Medical and Health

iv. Urban Local Bodies

v. Fire

vi. Electricity, Water and Municipal Services

vii. Banks/ATM

viii. Print, Electronic and Social Media

ix. Telecom & Internet Services including IT & ITeS

x. Postal services

xi. Supply chain and related transportation

xii. E-commerce (delivery) of all essential goods including food, pharmaceutical and medical equipment

xiii. food, groceries, milk, bread, fruit, vegetables, meat, fish and their transportation related activities and warehousing

xiv. hospitals, chemist stores, drugs and pharmaceuticals manufacturing and their transportation related activities

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xv. petrol pumps, LPG gas, oil agencies, their godowns and their transportation related activities

xvi. production and manufacturing units which require continuous process may continue to function, after obtaining the required permission from the District Magistrates

xvii. Manufacturing units engaged in production of essential commodities

Mumbai: A used mask dumped on the road on the Janata Curfew day. (Express Photo by Amit Chakravarty)

Private establishments that support the above services or are linked to the efforts for containment of COVID-19 will remain open. If there is any doubt as to whether a service establishment is essential or not, the District Magistrate shall be the competent authority to decide.  District Magistrates, Superintendents of Police, ADM/SDM, Tahasildar and Executive Officer of Urban Local Bodies are hereby authorised to take all necessary actions for enforcement and implementation of the aforesaid measures. Local police shall render necessary assistance as and when requisitioned by the aforementioned officers.

The restrictions imposed earlier shall continue to be in force in the state and in case of any doubt, the state government shall issue necessary directions/clarifications.

Here’s a quick coronavirus guide for you to stay updated: Who all should be tested for Covid-19 and when? | How should you quarantine yourself? | How often (and how) should you clean your home? | What is the Janata Curfew announced by PM Modi? | Who are restricted from coming to India, and from when? | How long can the virus live on surfaces or in air around you? | Still more Coronavirus Q&A Explained news here

First published on: 22-03-2020 at 09:53:18 pm
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