Centre gives charge to states on lockdown 4.0: Here’s what’s allowed, what’s not

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NEW DELHI: Shops and markets except those in malls will be allowed to open up, according to the guidelines issued by the Home Ministry for lockdown 4.0 which comes into effect from Monday.

Schools, colleges, hotels, cinema halls, malls, swimming pools, gyms, social, political, religious functions, and places of worship however, will be closed till May 31, MHA said.

Announcing the extension of the nationwide lockdown which will remain in effect till May 31, the Home Ministry on Sunday announced that public transport including domestic flights and metro rail will not be allowed during the following two-week period.

However, it allowed resumption of bus services both inter-state and intra-state travel.

“Inter-state and intra- state movement of passenger vehicles and buses with mutual consent of the states, UTs involved shall be permitted with restrictions,” according to the ministry guidelines, implying cabs, taxis etc could be allowed for inter-state travel too.

Another major step announced by the centre was giving the powers to the administrations of states and Union territories to delineate for themselves the areas that will come under red, orange and green zones.

Many Chief Ministers during their interaction with Prime Minister Modi had expressed the wish to be allowed to decide for themselves the contours of these zones.

“The delineation of Red Green and Orange Zones will be decided by the respective State and UT Governments, after taking into consideration the parameters shared by Ministry of Health & Family Welfare (MOHFW),” the guideline issued by the Home Ministry read.

In the 9-page guideline, MHA made it clear that all activities that have not been specifically prohibited must be considered permitted, implying salons, garment shops, e-commerce operations of non-essential goods will be lifted in all zones except containment zones.

The centre also issued detailed directions on how shops and markets that are expected to open from Monday, should maintain social distancing.

“Local authorities should ensure that shops and markets open with staggered timings, so as to ensure social distancing. All shops shall also have to ensure six feet distance (2 gaz ki doori) among customers and also not allow more than 5 persons at one time,” the centre said.

Another new relaxation given in the fourth phase of lockdown is opening of sports complexes and stadia which can now open but will remain out of bounds for spectators, possibly clearing the path for at least the resumption of halted training camps.

“Sports complexes and stadia will be permitted to open, however, spectators won’t be allowed,” MHA said.

The guidelines also specified the restrictions that have not been lifted such as night curfew, which will continue to remain in force on the movement of individuals, for all non-essential activities, between 7 pm and 7 am. And the limitation on number of people attending funerals and weddings, which still remains the same as 20 and 50 respectively.

The centre said that vulnerable persons, i.e., persons above 65 years of age, persons with co-morbidities, pregnant women, and children below the age of 10 years, shall continue to stay at home, except for meeting essential requirements and for health purposes.

The ministry encouraged extensive use of Aarogya Setu app which was already mandatory for office goers and people living in containment zones. “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,” according to the guidelines.

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