Unlock 2 in India: MHA's new guidelines allow more activities outside Containment Zones

Domestic flights and passenger trains have already been allowed in a limited manner. Their operations will be further expanded in a calibrated manner.

Unlock 2 in India: MHA's new guidelines allow more activities outside Containment Zones
Representational Image: PTI

New Delhi: Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on Monday (June 29) issued new guidelines for Unlock 2, opening up more activities in areas outside the containment Zones. The new guidelines, which will come into effect from July 1, 2020, are based on feedback received from states and UTs, and extensive consultations held with related Central Ministries and Departments said a government statement.

As stipulated in the Unlock 1 guidelines, issued on May 30, 2020, certain activities like religious places and places of worship for the public; hotels, restaurants, and other hospitality services; and shopping malls; have already been allowed to open from June 8, 2020, outside the Containment Zones. 

The MHA has also issued detailed standard operating procedures (SOPs). 

Key features of the Unlock 2 guidelines: 

1. Domestic flights and passenger trains have already been allowed in a limited manner. Their operations will be further expanded in a calibrated manner.

2. Night curfew timings are being further relaxed and curfew shall be in force from 10.00 pm to 5.00 am. Further, relaxations in night curfew have been given for the seamless operation of industrial units in multiple shifts, movement of persons and goods on National and State Highways, loading and unloading of cargo and movement of persons to their destinations after disembarking from buses, trains, and airplanes.

3. Shops depending upon their area can have more than 5 persons at a time. However, they have to maintain adequate physical distance.

4. Training institutions of the Central and State governments will be allowed to function with effect from July 15, 2020.  SOP in this regard will be issued by the Department of Personnel and Training, Government of India.

5. After extensive consultation with States and UTs, it has been decided that schools, colleges, and coaching institutions will remain closed till July 31, 2020. 

6. International air travel of passengers has been permitted in a limited manner under the Vande Bharat mission.  Further opening-up will take place in a calibrated manner.

All activities, except the following, shall be permitted outside containment zones:  

-Metro Rail.
-Cinema halls, gymnasiums, swimming pools, entertainment parks, theatres, bars, auditoriums, assembly halls, and similar places.
-Social/ political/ sports/ entertainment/ academic/ cultural/ religious functions and other large congregations.

Notably, dates for the opening of these will be decided separately, based on the assessment of the situation.

7. Lockdown shall continue to be implemented strictly in the Containment Zones till 31 July 2020. Containment Zones are required to be carefully demarcated by the State/ UT Governments with a view to containing the spread of COVID-19, after taking into consideration the guidelines issued by the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare (MOHFW). Within the containment zones, strict perimeter control shall be maintained and only essential activities allowed.  

8. These Containment Zones will be notified on the websites of the respective District Collectors and by the States/UTs and information will also be shared with MOHFW.

9. Activities in the Containment Zones shall be monitored strictly by the State/UT authorities, and the guidelines relating to containment measures in these zones shall be strictly implemented.

10. MOHFW will monitor the proper delineation of Containment Zones and the implementation of the containment measures.

States to decide on activities outside Containment Zones

1. States and UTs, based on their assessment of the situation, may prohibit certain activities outside the Containment zones, or impose such restrictions as deemed necessary.  
2. However, there shall be no restriction on inter-State and intra-State movement of persons and goods.  No separate permission/ approval/ e-permit will be required for such movements.  

Night curfew: Night Curfew shall continue to remain in force, between 10.00 pm and 5 am, except for essential activities and other relaxation given in Unlock 2.  

National Directives for COVID-19 management: National Directives for COVID-19 management shall continue to be followed throughout the country, with a view to ensure social distancing.  Shops will need to maintain adequate physical distancing among customers. MHA will monitor the effective implementation of National Directives.

Protection for vulnerable persons: Vulnerable persons, i.e., persons above 65 years of age, persons with co-morbidities, pregnant women, and children below the age of 10 years, are advised to stay at home, except for meeting essential requirements and for health purposes.

Movement of persons with SOPs: Movement by passenger trains and Shramik special trains; domestic passenger air travel; the movement of Indian Nationals stranded outside the country and of specified persons to travel abroad; evacuation of foreign nationals; and sign-on and sign-off of Indian seafarers will continue to be regulated as per SOPs issued. 

Use of Aarogya Setu: 

-Aarogya Setu enables early identification of potential risk of infection, and thus acts as a shield for individuals and the community. 
-With a view to ensuring safety in offices and workplaces, employers on the best effort basis should ensure that Aarogya Setu is installed by all employees having compatible mobile phones. 

-District authorities may advise individuals to install the Aarogya Setu application on compatible mobile phones and regularly update their health slams on the app. This will facilitate the timely provision of medical attention to those individuals who are at risk. 

Strict enforcement of the guidelines

-State/ UT governments shall not dilute these guidelines issued under the Disaster Management Act, 2005, in any manner. 
-All the District Magistrates shall strictly enforce the above measures. 

Penal provisions: Any person violating these measures will be liable to be proceeded against as per the provisions of Section 51 to 60 of the Disaster Management Act, 2005, besides legal action under Section 188 of the IPC, and other legal provisions as applicable. 

National Directives for COVID-19 management

I. Face coverings: Wearing of face cover is compulsory in public places; in workplaces; and during transport. 

2. Social distancing: Individuals must maintain a minimum distance of 6 feet (2 gaz ki doori) in public places. Shops will ensure physical distancing among customers. 

3. Gatherings: Large public gatherings/congregations continue to remain prohibited. 

-Marriage related gatherings: Number of guests not to exceed 50. 
-Funeral/last rites related gatherings: Number of persons not to exceed 20. 

4. Spitting in public places will be punishable with fine, as may be prescribed by the State/ UT local authority in accordance with its laws, rules, or regulations. 

5. Consumption of liquor, paan, gutka, tobacco, etc., in public places, is prohibited. 

Additional directives for workplaces 

1. Work from home (WFH): As far as possible the practice of WERE should be followed. 

2. Staggering of work/ business hours will be followed in offices, workplaces, shops, markets, and industrial and commercial establishments. 

3. Screening & hygiene: Provision for thermal scanning, hand wash, and sanitizer will be made at all entry and exit points and common areas. 

4. Frequent sanitization of the entire workplace, common facilities, and all points which come into human contact e.g. door handles etc., will be ensured, including between shifts. 

50. Social distancing: All persons in charge of workplaces will ensure the adequate distance between workers, adequate gaps between shifts, staggering the lunch breaks of staff, etc.