Ministry of Home Affairs issues guidelines for lockdown

Makes face mask compulsory; stipulates industrial and commercial activities to be allowed after April 20

Ministry of Home Affairs issues guidelines for lockdown

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 15

The Government on Wednesday issued detailed consolidated guidelines to be implemented during the Lockdown 2.0 period beginning Wednesday as announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday, which will remain in effect till May 3.

The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) in the guidelines has made face masks compulsory and said some industrial and commercial activities will be opened from April 20 in those areas and districts which are not part of containment zones.

It said this has been done to make sure that poor daily wage earners get the opportunity to work, as MGNREGA has got the place in the list of allowed activities.   

In the order stipulating the guidelines, the MHA said that as the Prime Minister declared that select necessary activities will be allowed to be opened from April 20 in identified areas of the country, “select additional activities in areas not demarcated as containment zones by States/UTs/ District Administrations will be allowed from April 20”.

“The objective of the revised guidelines is to consolidate the gains achieved during the first phase of lockdown and further slow down the spread of Covid 19; at the same time, provide relief to farmers and labour and daily wage earners,” it said.

Besides ensuring that the rural economy functions with maximum efficiency, the MHA said, “Manufacturing and other industrial establishments with access control have been permitted in SEZs, EoUs, industrial estates and industrial townships after implementation of SOP for social distancing.” These will include manufacturing of IT hardware, essential goods, packaging, coal, mineral and oil production.

“It is expected that the industrial and manufacturing sectors will see a revival with these measures, and will create job opportunities while maintaining safety protocols and social distancing,” it said.

It went on to add that at the same time the important components of the financial sector, including “RBI, banks, ATMs, capital and debt markets as notified by SEBI and insurance companies will also remain functional, with a view to providing enough liquidity and credit support to the industrial sectors”.

Transportation of goods will be permitted without any distinction of essential or non essential, it reiterated. Farming operations, including procurement of agricultural products, agriculture marketing through notified mandis and direct and decentralised 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 will continue to be functional, as were allowed during the first phase of lockdown.

However, certain activities including 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, will continue to be prohibited across the country without exception, it said.

It said mandatory homemade face covers at workplaces and in public places, strong hygiene and health care measures like provision of sanitisers, staggered shifts, access control, thermal screening and imposing fines for spitting etc penalties will be imposed for violation.

Activities to be allowed after April 20 in non-containment zone

*MGNREGA

*Farming including live-stock rearing and tea, coffee and rubber plantations

*Manufacture, distribution and retailing fertilizers

*Warehousing

*Truck movement without exception of essential, nonessential

*ATMs, Banks and debt market as notified by SEBI

*Coal, mineral and petroleum production

IT hardware manufacturing

HIGHLIGHTS

*Inter-state, inter-district movement of people, metro, bus services continue to be prohibited till May 3: MHA guidelines on lockdown.

*Educational institutions, coaching centres, domestic, international air travel, train services to remain suspended till May 3.

*Cinema halls, malls, shopping complexes, gymnasiums, sports complexes, swimming pools, bars to remain closed till May 3.

*All social, political, sports, religious functions, religious places, places of worship shall be closed for public till May 3. 

*From April 20 activities permitted include agricultural, horticultural, farming, procurement of agri products, 'mandis'.

*Shops of farm machinery, its spare parts, supply chain, repairs, 'Custom Hiring Centres' related to machinery to remain open from Apr 20. 

*Manufacturing units of pharmaceuticals, medical devices, construction of medical infrastructure to remain open from April 20

*Highway 'dhabas', truck repairing shops, call centres for govt activities to remain open from April 20.

*Wearing of masks compulsory in public places across country in wake of COVID-19 situation. 

*Grocery stores, fruit, vegetables shops or carts, milk booths, poultry, meat and fish shops to remain open during lockdown. 

*Services provided by self-employed electricians, IT repairs, plumbers, motor mechanics, carpenters to be allowed from April 20. 

*Exemptions given from April 20 will not be applicable in COVID-19 hotspots or containment zones. 

*Industries operating in rural areas to be permitted to run from April 30 with strict social distancing norms.

*Manufacturing, industrial units with access control in SEZs, Export Oriented Units, industrial estates, townships to function from Apr 20. PTI


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