Religious places, hotels, malls can reopen from June 8
Schools, colleges can reopen in July after feedback from parents
Nationwide night curfew will be 9 pm to 5 am
No curbs on inter-state and intra-state travel
Lock-and-key for Containment Zones till June 30
Making a major, calibrated move while extending the nationwide lockdown, the Ministry of Home Affairs(MHA) has intimated several relaxations, including reopening of religious places of worship, hotels, restaurants and malls after June 8 and of schools and colleges from July.
On Saturday, MHA issued the relevant guidelines for a phased re-opening (‘Unlock 1’) to the state governments. In doing so, it has indicated that the current lockdown period is over, except in the case of Containment Zones.
Correspondingly, the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare (MoHFW) will issue Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for various permitted activities, in consultation with the Central Ministries/ Departments concerned and other stakeholders.
However, the guidelines issued by the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) as of May 17 will remain in force till June 30.
1. Phased re-opening of areas outside the Containment Zones
In areas outside Containment Zones, all activities will be permitted, except the following, which will be allowed with the stipulation of following Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) to be prescribed by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW), in a phased manner:
The following activities will be allowed with effect from 8 June, 2020:
(i) Religious places/ places of worship for public.
(ii) Hotels, restaurants and other hospitality services.
(iii) Shopping malls.
The MoHFW will issue SOPs for the above activities in consultation with the Central Ministries/ Departments concerned and other stakeholders, for ensuring social distancing and to contain the spread of COVID-19.
Schools, colleges, educational/ training/ coaching institutions, etc., will be opened after consultations with states and UTs. State governments/ UT administrations may hold consultations at the institution level with parents and other stakeholders. Based on the feedback, a decision on the re-opening of these institutions will be taken in July.
MoHFW will prepare SOPs in this regard in consultation with the Central Ministries/ Departments concerned and other stakeholders, for ensuring social distancing and to contain the spread of COVID-19.
Based on the assessment of the situation, dates for re-starting the following activities will be decided:
(i) International air travel of passengers, except as permitted by MHA.
(ii) Metro Rail.
(iii) Cinema halls, gymnasiums, swimming pools, entertainment parks, theatres, bars and auditoriums, assembly halls and similar places.
(iv) Social/ political/ sports/ entertainment/ academic/ cultural/ religious functions and other large congregations.
2. National Directives for COVID-19 Management
National Directives for COVID-19 Management, as specified in Annexure I, shall continue to be followed throughout the country.
3. Night curfew
Movement of individuals shall remain strictly prohibited between 9.00 pm to 5.00 am throughout the country, except for essential activities. Local authorities shall issue orders, in the entire area of their jurisdiction, under appropriate provisions of law, such as under Section 144 of CrPC, and ensure strict compliance.
4. Lockdown limited to Containment Zones
(i) Lockdown shall continue to remain in force in the Containment Zones till 30 June, 2020.
(ii) Containment Zones will be demarcated by the District authorities after taking into consideration the guidelines of MoHFW.
(iii) In the Containment Zones, only essential activities shall be allowed. There shall be strict perimeter control to ensure that there is no movement of people in or out of these zones, except for medical emergencies and for maintaining supply of essential goods and services. In the Containment Zones, there shall be intensive contact tracing, house-to-house surveillance, and other clinical interventions, as required. Guidelines of MoHFW shall be taken into consideration for the above purpose.
(iv) States/ UTS may also identify Buffer Zones outside the Containment Zones, where new cases are more likely to occur. Within the buffer zones, restrictions as considered necessary may be put in place by the District authorities.
5. States/ UTs, based on their assessment of the situation, may prohibit certain activities outside the Containment zones, or impose such restrictions as deemed necessary.
6. Unrestricted movement of persons and goods
(i) There shall be no restriction on inter-State and intra-State movement of persons and goods. No separate permission/ approval/ e-permit will be required for such movements.
(ii) However, if a State/ UT, based on reasons of public health and its assessment of the situation, proposes to regulate movement of persons, it will give wide publicity in advance regarding the restrictions to be placed on such movement, and the related procedures to be followed.
(iii) Movement by passenger trains and Shramik special trains; domestic passenger air travel; movement of Indian Nationals stranded outside the country and of specified persons to travel abroad; evacuation of foreign nationals; and sign-on and sign-off of Indian seafarers will continue to be regulated as per SOPs issued.
(iv) No State/ UT shall stop the movement of any type of goods/ cargo for cross landborder trade under Treaties with neighbouring countries.
7. Protection of vulnerable persons
Persons above 65 years of age, persons with co-morbidities, pregnant women, and children below the age of 10 years are advised to stay at home, except for essential and health purposes.
8, Use of Aarogya Setu
(i) Aarogya Setu enables early identification of potential risk of infection, and thus acts as a shield for individuals and the community.
(ii) With a view to ensuring safety in offices and work places, employers on best effort basis should ensure that Aarogya Setu is installed by all employees having compatible mobile phones.
(iii) District authorities may advise individuals to install the Aarogya Setu application on compatible mobile phones and regularly update their health status on the app. This will facilitate timely provision of medical attention to those individuals who are at risk.
9. Strict enforcement of the guidelines
(i) State/ UT Governments shall not dilute these guidelines issued under the Disaster Management Act, 2005, in any manner.
(ii) All the District Magistrates shall strictly enforce the above measures.
10. Penal provisions
Any person violating these measures will be liable to be proceeded against as per the provisions of Section 51 to 60 of the Disaster Management Act, 2005, besides legal action under Section188 of the IPC, and other legal provisions as applicable. Extracts of these penal provisions are at Annexure Il.
National Directives for COVID-19 Management
1. Face coverings: Wearing of face cover is compulsory in public places; in workplaces; and during transport.
2. Social distancing: Individuals must maintain a minimum distance of 6 feet (2 gaz ki doori) in public places.
Shops will ensure physical distancing among customers and will not allow more than 5 persons at one time.
3. Gatherings: Large public gatherings/ congregations continue to remain prohibited. Marriage related gatherings Number of guests not to exceed 50.
Funeral/ last rites related gatherings : Number of persons not to exceed 20.
4. Spitting in public places will be punishable with fine, as may be prescribed by the State/ UT local authority in accordance with its laws, rules or regulations.
5. Consumption of liquor, paan, gutka, tobacco etc in public places is prohibited.
Additional directives for Work Places
6. Work from home (WfH): As far as possible the practice of WfH should be followed.
7. Staggering of work/ business hours will be followed in offices, work places, shops, markets and industrial & commercial establishments.
8. Screening & hygiene: Provision for thermal scanning, hand wash and sanitizer will be made at all entry and exit points and common areas.
9. Frequent sanitization of entire workplace, common facilities and all points which come into human contact e.g. door handles etc., will be ensured, including between shifts.
10. Social distancing: All persons in charge of work places will ensure adequate distance between workers, adequate gaps between shifts, staggering the lunch breaks of staff, etc.