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Fighting coronavirus: Centre issues fresh guidelines for lockdown 2.0

PTI New Delhi | Updated on April 15, 2020 Published on April 15, 2020

Wearing of face mask in public areas is compulsory

Fresh guidelines were issued by the government on Wednesday for enforcing the second phase of the coronavirus lockdown, with the Union home ministry barring all kinds of public transport and prohibiting opening of public places till May 3.

Spitting in public has been made a punishable offence and a strict ban enforced on sale of liquor, gutka, tobacco etc. under the new Ministry of Home Affairs guidelines that come a day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the extension of the nationwide lockdown till May 3.

While inter-state, inter-district movement of people, metro, bus services will be prohibited till May 3, the government allowed function of industrial units located in rural areas from April 20 by observing strict social distancing norms. Educational institutions, coaching centres, domestic, international air travel, train services will also remain suspended till this time, it said.

Public places like cinema halls, malls, shopping complexes, gymnasiums, sports complexes, swimming pools, bars will also be shut till May 3. All social, political, sports, religious functions, religious places, places of worship shall be closed for public till May 3, it said.

What can open from April 20?

Highway ‘dhaba’, truck repairing shops, call centres for govt activities to remain open from April 20, while shops that sell agriculture machinery, its spare parts, its supply chain, repairs, 'Custom Hiring Centres', and other shops related to farm machinery  are to remain open from April 20.

All agricultural activities, horticultural activities, farmers and farm workers in field, procurement of agri products, ’Mandis’ can take place.

Manufacturing units of drugs, pharmaceuticals, medical devices, construction of medical infrastructure, including the manufacture of ambulances, are to remain open from April 20.

Industries operating in rural areas are permitted to run from April 20, but they have to follow strict social distancing norms. Manufacturing, industrial units with access control in SEZs, Export Oriented Units, industrial estates, industrial townships are also allowed to operate from April 20.

The Home Ministry said that the industries must make arrangements for stay of workers within their premises or adjacent buildings, and that the accommodations must follow social distancing norms.

The central government has made wearing of mask compulsory in public places across the country.

Grocery stores, fruits, vegetables shops/ carts, milk booths, poultry, meat and fish shop to remain open during lockdown. Services provided by self-employed electrician, IT repairs, plumbers, motor mechanics, carpenters are allowed from April 20.

However, the exemptions given from April 20 will not be applicable in COVID-19 hotspots/ containment zones, and the State/ UT governments shall not dilute guidelines in any manner but may impose stricter measures as per local requirements.

What about government offices?

The Home Ministry said defence, paramilitary, health and family welfare, disaster management, NIC, FCI, NCC, Nehru Yuva Kendra and Customs offices will function without any restriction. Other ministries and departments are to function with “100 per cent attendance” with deputy secretary and above rank officers.

“Remaining officers and staff to attend up to 33 per cent as per requirement,” it said.

The guidelines said in order to mitigate hardship to the public, select additional activities will be allowed, which will come into effect from April 20. “However, these additional activities will be operationalised by states and UTs and district administrators based on strict compliance to the existing guidelines on lockdown measures,” it said.

The nation-wide lockdown is aimed to contain the spread of the pandemic that has killed over 370 people and infected over 11,000 in the country.

Published on April 15, 2020

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