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Friday, May 1, 2020

India extends lockdown by two weeks with effect from May 4 – Highlights of Home Ministry’s order

New Delhi: The Ministry of Home Affairs on Friday announced that the lockdown which has been imposed to
contain the spread of coronavirus will be extended by two weeks with effect from May 4. The Home Ministry in its order stated that the lockdown measures have led to significant gains in the country's fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. Thus, after a comprehensive review, the government has decided to extend the lockdown by two weeks.
The MHA issued new guidelines to regulate different activities in this period, based on the risk profiling of the districts of the country into Red (hotspot), Green and Orange Zones. The guidelines have permitted considerable relaxations in the districts falling in the Green and Orange Zones.
According to the Centre’s new guidelines, a limited number of activities will remain prohibited throughout the country, irrespective of the Zone. These include travel by air, rail, metro and inter-State movement by road, running of schools, colleges, and other educational and training/ coaching institutions, hospitality services, including hotels and restaurants; places of large public gatherings, such as cinema halls, malls, gymnasiums, sports complexes etc.

Highlights of Home Ministry’s lockdown extension order

- Out-Patient Departments (OPDs) and Medical clinics shall be permitted to operate in Red, Orange and Green Zones, with social distancing norms
- In all zones, persons above 65 years of age, persons with co-morbidities, pregnant women, and children below the age of 10 years, shall stay at home.
- Movement of individuals, for all non-essential activities, shall remain strictly prohibited between 7 pm to 7 am.
- Government offices shall function with senior officers of the level of Deputy Secretary and above at full strength, and the remaining staff attending upto 33 per cent as per requirement.
- Private offices can operate with upto 33 per cent strength as per requirement, with the remaining persons working from home.
- Shops in urban areas, for non-essential goods, are not allowed in malls, markets and market complexes.  However, all standalone (single) shops, neighborhood (colony) shops and shops in residential complexes are permitted to remain open
- Movement of individuals and vehicles is allowed only for permitted activities, with a maximum of 2 persons (besides the driver) in four-wheeler vehicles, and with no pillion rider in the case of two-wheelers.
- All goods traffic is to be permitted. No State/ UT shall stop the movement of cargo for cross land-border trade under Treaties with neighbouring countries. No separate pass of any sort is needed for such movement
- Most of the commercial and private establishments have been allowed in the Red Zones. These include print and electronic media, IT and IT-enabled services,
- A large number of other activities are allowed in the Red Zones. All industrial and construction activities in rural areas, including MNREGA works, food-processing units and brick-kilns are permitted; besides, in rural areas, without distinction to the nature of goods, all shops, except in shopping malls are permitted.

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