The total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in India have crossed 96,000. With over 3,000 deaths so far, the country has surpassed China, that has officially declared 82,954 cases.
At the same time, the prolonged lockdown is leading to irreparable losses to the country’s economy, which is why the government has decided to extend the lockdown to Phase 4 till 31 May, but with certain relaxations.
In a major step, the Centre has now instructed the states and union territories to define their red, orange and green zones adhering to the parameters specified by the Union Health Ministry.
Here is a complete list of guidelines for Lockdown 4.0 issued by the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) on Sunday.
What activities are allowed:
- Interstate transport of buses and other passenger vehicles will now be permitted with mutual consent from both of the concerned states or Union Territories. Movement of public transport within a state/UT depend upon the decision by the respective state governments.
- So far, only standalone shops which sell essential goods were allowed to function. Now, marketplaces (except shopping malls) can also be opened but following certain restrictions on overcrowding:
- Social distancing to be strictly maintained
- Frequent sanitisation is a must.
- Only five people will be allowed inside a standard-sized shop at a time.
- Staggered work and business hours to be followed.
- Sports complexes and stadia will now be allowed to open for sports practices, but spectators will continue to be prohibited.
- Private offices, previously allowed to function with 33% employee strength, can presumably start operating normally as no restrictions were mentioned.
- Employers have been instructed to ensure that their employees install the Aarogya Setu app to monitor contact-tracing.
- Installation, though not mandatory for public and private sector employees, is highly recommended.
- E-commerce platforms have been allowed to resume their delivery of all goods (both essential and non-essential) in all the three zones (red, orange and green). Movement of all types of goods cargo is allowed, including empty cargo vehicles.
- App-based cab services to be permitted beyond emergency hospital visits as the ban on cab aggregators has been lifted. Auto-rickshaws and cycle rickshaws can start plying again.
- Restaurants are allowed to remain open but only for food delivery services.
- Salons, spas and barbershops allowed to open.
What activities are prohibited:
- Shopping malls, movie theatres, gymnasiums, swimming pools, amusement park, bars, auditoriums, assembly halls and similar places with a high risk of contagion will remain closed till 31 May.
- All passenger flights, both domestic and international, continue to be prohibited. Only exemptions are domestic medical services, private air ambulances, and for other security purposes with special permission from the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA).
- Schools, colleges and other educational institutions like coaching/tuition centres to remain closed.
- Metro railway services prohibited across the country.
- Hotels, restaurants and other hospitality services are banned for the public. Exceptions are authorised canteens in bus depots, railway stations and airports.
- All social, political, cultural or religious gatherings and congregations are strictly non-permissible. Public access to religious shrines and places of worship remain entirely restricted.
What activities remain unchanged from previous lockdown directives:
- Railways will only permit special trains arranged by the government to facilitate stranded individuals.
- In containment zones, only essential services are allowed.
- Nationwide night curfew between 7 PM and 7 AM will still be operational, exempting essential services.
- Children below 10 years, pregnant women, elderly individuals above 65 years and individuals with co-morbidity have been advised to stay home, except emergency healthcare needs.
- Masks must be worn at all public places and offices throughout.
- Spitting in public places is a strictly punishable offence.
States like Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat and the government of Delhi have announced their state-specific guidelines for the Lockdown phase 4.
Nagaland and Meghalaya have already specified that all the previously imposed restrictions will be continued until the end of the month.
Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, West Bengal and Punjab are likely to declare their terms for the extended lockdown, on Monday.
Note: This is a developing story. We will update our article in case there are any changes or additions in the rules and regulations.
(Edited by Gayatri Mishra)