Updated: December 27, 2021 2:51:37 pm
With the Covid-19 positivity rate in Delhi increasing – it was at 0.55% on Sunday – there is a strong likelihood of the Graded Response Action Plan coming into force. The colour-coded action plan, under which the level of restrictions in markets, industries, offices and public transport will be determined based on the Covid-19 test positivity rate, new cases, and occupancy of oxygen beds in hospitals, was notified in August.
It states that restrictions will be based on three parameters: positivity rate, cumulative active cases and occupancy of oxygen beds in hospitals. And the restrictions have been classified under Yellow, Amber, Orange and Red alerts. While Yellow is the lowest level of alert, Red is the highest, which will bring the city under a complete lockdown. To be sure, most economic and social activities and public transport facilities will come to a halt with the announcement of an orange alert itself.
Yellow: This alert will go out if the positivity rate remains over 0.5 per cent for two consecutive days, or cumulative new positive cases (for a duration of one week) touch 1,500 cases, or average occupancy of oxygen beds in hospitals remains 500 for a week.
Restrictions: Shops in markets and malls dealing with non-essential goods and services will be allowed to open as per the odd-even formula between 10 am to 8 pm, while one weekly market will be allowed per municipal zone at half the capacity of vendors. Restaurants will operate at 50 per cent capacity between 8 am – 10 pm, bars will open between 12-10 pm also at 50 per cent capacity. Cinemas, banquet halls, auditoriums, spas, gyms and entertainment parks will remain shut. Delhi Metro and buses will be allowed to operate at 50 per cent capacity. Delhi government offices will call 100 per cent grade I officers, while private firms will be allowed to call 50 per cent staff between 9 am to 5 pm. Gyms and yoga centres will also shut. There will be a complete ban on social/entertainment/religious/political/festival-related gatherings. Sports complexes, stadiums (except national/international sports events), entertainment parks will shut down. At marriages and funeral-related gatherings, 20 persons each will be allowed. But banquet halls will not be allowed to host weddings. Night curfew will come into effect under which movement of people will be restricted between 10 pm and 5 am.
Fully allowed under Yellow: Public parks, gardens, construction activities and industrial establishments, e-commerce, barber shops, saloons, beauty parlours.
Amber: The city will enter the next phase of restrictions if the test positivity rate remains over 1 per cent for two consecutive days, or 3,500 new cases in a week, or average oxygen bed occupancy remaining over 700 over the course of a week.
Restrictions: Apart from the restrictions listed under yellow, restaurants and bars will close, but home delivery and takeaway will be permitted. Timings of shops in markets and malls will be from 10 am to 6 pm. Public parks and gardens will close, along with barber shops, salons, and beauty parlours. Metro will be allowed at 33 per cent capacity, while buses will have to adhere to the 50 per cent cap. At marriages and funeral-related gatherings, 20 persons each will be allowed. Apart from night curfew, weekend curfew will kick in, restricting public movement from 10 pm Friday to 5 am Monday. Fully allowed under Amber: Construction activities and manufacturing units will be allowed. E-commerce will have no restrictions either.
Orange: Stricter restrictions under the orange alert will kick in if test positivity remains over 2 per cent for two straight days. It will also be sounded if the city records 9,000 cases over a week’s time or the average occupancy of oxygen hospital beds remains 1,000 for seven consecutive days.
Restrictions: The Delhi Metro, malls and markets will close, except shops dealing with essential goods such as groceries, milk booths, chemists. Buses will be permitted to operate with 50 per cent seating capacity only with passengers engaged in essential activities. Orange alert will also bring construction activities to a halt. Only those sites offering accommodation facilities to labourers will be allowed. For factories, only those producing essential commodities will be allowed if workers can live on site. E-commerce will be allowed only in case of essential items like medicines or health equipment. Delhi government offices will be allowed to open, but private offices, except those falling under exempted categories, will shut. At marriages and funeral-related gatherings, the number of guests will be capped at 15. Night and weekend curfews will remain enforced.
Red: If the test positivity rate breaches 5 per cent two days in a row, or the city records 16,000 new cases in a week. It will also kick in if average occupancy of oxygen beds in hospitals remains 3,000 or above over a week.
Restrictions: The city will go under a lockdown in the case of orange alert itself. The additional restriction will mainly be on public movement of people and vehicles as a total curfew will be announced. At marriages and funeral-related gatherings, the number of guests will continue to be capped at 15. There will be a total curfew on movement of people. Marriages and funeral-related gatherings: 20 persons each will be allowed under yellow and amber alerts. In the case of orange and red alerts, 15 persons each will be allowed to attend the ceremonies.
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For travellers entering Delhi: In the case of people entering Delhi from other states, it will be mandatory to establish that one is fully vaccinated, or a negative RT-PCR report not older than three days will have to be produced when the city is under Red alert and the incoming travellers are from states with positivity rate over 5 per cent. Those coming from states where a new strain of Covid has been found will also have to produce vaccination or negative RT-PCR reports.
Sectors that will remain open irrespective of level of alert: Hotels and lodges in Delhi will remain open under all four levels of alerts. Places of worship will remain open so that rituals can be carried out but no visitors will be allowed. In the case of intra-state movement of buses, only those under exempted categories will be allowed and seat occupancy will be capped at 50 per cent from Yellow alert itself.