After phases of lockdowns, MHA brings in Unlock 1. Know what’s permitted, restricted

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Bhubaneswar (TF Bureau): The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) today issued guidelines for gradual re-opening of activities outside containment zones. Besides, the timing of night curfew has also been changed. The gradual re-opening beginning June 1, called as Unlock 1, will focus on resumption of economic activities.

Phased re-opening of areas outside the Containment Zones, all activities will be permitted, except the following, which will be allowed, with the stipulation of following Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) to be prescribed by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW), in a phased manner:

Phase I: The following activities will be allowed with effect from 8 June, 2020: (i) Religious places/places of worship for public. (ii) Hotels, restaurants and other hospitality services. (iii) Shopping malls. Ministry of Health & Family Welfare (MOHFW) will issue Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for the above activities, in consultation with the Central Ministries/ Departments concerned and other stakeholders, for ensuring social distancing and to contain the spread of COVID-19.

Phase II: Schools, colleges, educational training coaching institutions etc., will be opened after consultations with States and UTS. State Governments/ UT administrations may hold consultations at the institution level with parents and other stakeholders.

Based on the feedback, a decision on the re-opening of these institutions will be taken in the month of July, 2020. MOHFW will prepare SOP in this regard, in consultation with the Central Ministries/ Departments concerned and other stakeholders, for ensuring social distancing and to contain the spread of COVID-19.

Phase III: Based on the assessment of the situation, dates for re-starting the following activities will be decided: (i) International air travel of passengers, except as permitted by MHA. (ii) Metro Rail. (iii) Cinema halls, gymnasiums, swimming pools, entertainment parks, theatres, bars and auditoriums, assembly halls and similar places. (iv) Social/ political/ sports/ entertainment/ academic/ cultural/ religious functions and other large congregations.

National Directives for COVID-19 Management, as specified in Annexure I, shall continue to be followed throughout the country.

Night curfew movement of individuals shall remain strictly prohibited between 9.00 pm to 5.00 am throughout the country, except for essential activities.

Local authorities shall issue orders, in the entire area of their jurisdiction, under appropriate provisions of law, such as under Section 144 of CrPC, and ensure strict compliance.

Lockdown limited to Containment Zones (i) Lockdown shall continue to remain in force in the Containment Zones till 30 June, 2020. (ii) Containment Zones will be demarcated by the District authorities after taking into consideration the guidelines of MoHFW. (iii) In the Containment Zones, only essential activities shall be allowed.

There shall be strict perimeter control to ensure that there is no movement of people in or out of these zones, except for medical emergencies and for maintaining supply of essential goods and services.

In the Containment Zones, there shall be intensive contact tracing, house-to-house surveillance, and other clinical interventions, as required. Guidelines of MoHFW shall be taken into consideration for the above purpose.

(iv) States/UTs may also identify Buffer Zones outside the Containment Zones, where new cases are more likely to occur. Within the buffer zones, restrictions as considered necessary may be put in place by the District authorities. States/UTs, based on their assessment of the situation, may prohibit certain activities outside the Containment zones, or impose such restrictions as deemed necessary.

Unrestricted movement of persons and goods (i) 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. (ii) However, if a State/UT, based on reasons of public health and its assessment of the situation, proposes to regulate movement of persons, it will give wide publicity in advance regarding the restrictions to be placed on such movement, and the related procedures to be followed. (iii) Movement by passenger trains and Shramik special trains; domestic passenger air travel; 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. (iv) No State/ UT shall stop the movement of any type of goods/ cargo for cross land border trade under Treaties with neighbouring countries.

Protection of vulnerable persons:
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 essential and health purposes.

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