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New guidelines for lockdown issued by Union Home Ministry on Wednesday

The government on Wednesday issued a fresh set of guidelines as India entered the second phase of a nationwide lockdown meant to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus. The exhaustive guidelines detail whether citizens are allowed to move, what industries can function, what items can be sold, what measures are to be followed by workplaces remaining open during the lockdown phase, and more.

The new lockdown rules and regulations will apply until May 3. Some conditional relief may be seen in areas that are not hotspots for the novel coronavirus from April 20.

Here’s the full list of the fresh guidelines issues by the government on the novel coronavirus lockdown 2.0.

1. What activities are banned

2. What happens in hotspots and containment zones

3. What activities are allowed from April 20, 2020

4. Can states impose stricter rules?

5. What health services will remain functional

6. What agricultural activities will remain functional

7. Financial sector services that will remain open

8. What services remain open in the social sector

9. What happens to schools and colleges

10. Will MNREGA workers be allowed to work?

11. What public utilities remain functional

12. About inter-state and intra-state goods transport

13. What essential goods and services remain functional

14. Commercial and private establishments that will remain open

15. What industries will remain open

16. What happens to construction activities?

17. Who is allowed to move outside?

18. Central governmment offices that will remain open

19. State, UT, local body offices that will remain open

20. People who will be under mandatory quarantine

21. What you will have to do in public spaces

22. Guidelines workplaces will have to follow

23. Guidelines manufacturing establishments will have to follow

24. What offices and factories will have to do to ensure safety of employees


1. Following activities will continue to remain prohibited across the country until May 3, 2020:

i. All domestic and international air travel of passengers, except for purposes enumerated in para 4 (ix), and for security purposes.

ii. All passenger movement by trains, except for security purposes.

iii. Buses for public transport.

iv. Metro rail services.

v. Inter-district and inter-State movement of individuals except for medical reasons or for activities permitted under these guidelines.

vi. All educational, training, coaching institutions etc. shall remain closed.

vii. All industrial and commercial activities other than those specifically permitted under these guidelines.

viii. Hospitality services are other than those specifically permitted under these guidelines.

ix. Taxis (including auto-rickshaws and cycle rickshaws) and services of cab aggregators.

x. All cinema halls, malls, shopping complexes, gymnasiums, sports complexes, swimming pools, entertainment parks, theatres, bars and auditoriums, assembly halls and similar places.

xi. All social/ political/ sports/ entertainment/ academic/ cultural/ religious functions/ other gatherings.

xii. All religious places/ places of worship shall be closed for public. Religious congregations are strictly prohibited.

xiii. In case of funerals, the congregation of more than twenty persons will not be permitted.

2. Operation of guidelines in hotspots and containment zones

i. ‘Hotspots’, i.e., areas of large Covid-19 outbreaks, or clusters with a significant spread of Covid-19, will be determined as per the guidelines issued by Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW), Government of India (Gal).

ii. In these hotspots, containment zones will be demarcated by States/ UTs/ District administrations as per the guidelines of MoHFW.

iii. In these containment zones, the activities allowed under these guidelines will not be permitted. There shall be strict perimeter control in the area of the containment zones to ensure that there is no unchecked inward/ outward movement of population from these zones except for maintaining essential services (including medical emergencies and law and order related duties) and Government business continuity. The guidelines issued in this regard by MoHFW will be strictly implemented by State/ UT Governments and the local district authorities.

3. Select permitted activities allowed with effect from April 20, 2020:

i. To mitigate hardship to the public, select additional activities have been allowed which will come into effect from April 20, 2020. These limited exemptions will be operationalised by States/ UTs/ district administrations based on strict compliance to the existing guidelines. Also, before allowing these select additional activities, states/ UTs/ district administrations shall ensure that all preparatory arrangements with regard to the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for social distancing in offices, workplaces, factories and establishments, as also other sectoral requirements are in place.

ii. The consolidated revised guidelines incorporating these select permitted activities have been enumerated in paras 5-20 below.

4. Strict enforcement of the lockdown guidelines

i. State/ UT Governments shall not dilute these guidelines issued under the Disaster Management Act, 2005, in any manner, and shall strictly enforce the same.

ii. State/ UT Governments, may, however, impose stricter measures than these guidelines as per the requirement of the local areas.

5. All health services (including AYUSH) to remain functional, such as:

i. Hospitals, nursing homes, clinics, telemedicine facilities.

ii. Dispensaries, chemists, pharmacies, all kinds of medicine shops including Jan Aushadhi Kendras and medical equipment shops.

iii. Medical laboratories and collection centres.

iv. Pharmaceutical and medical research labs, institutions carrying out Covid 0-19 related research.

v. Veterinary Hospitals, dispensaries, clinics, pathology labs, sale and supply of vaccine and medicine.

vi. Authorised private establishments, which support the provisioning of essential services, or efforts for containment of Covid-19, including home care providers, diagnostics, supply chain firms serving hospitals.

vii. Manufacturing units of drugs, pharmaceuticals, medical devices, medical oxygen, their packaging material, raw material and intermediates.

viii. Construction of medical/ health infrastructure including the manufacture of ambulances.

ix. Movement (inter and intra-state, including by air) of all medical and veterinary personnel, scientists, nurses, para-medical staff, lab technicians, mid-wives and other hospital support services, including ambulances.

6. Agricultural and related activities:

A. All agricultural and horticultural activities to remain fully functional, such as:

i. Farming operations by farmers and farm workers in field.

ii. Agencies engaged in procurement of agriculture products, including MSP operations.

iii. ‘Mandis’ operated by the Agriculture Produce Market Committee (APMC) or as notified by the State/ UT Government (e.g., satellite mandis). Direct marketing operations by the State/ UT Government or by industry, directly from farmers/ group of farmers, FPOs’ co-operatives etc. States/ UTs may promote decentralized marketing and procurement at village level.

iv. Shops of agriculture machinery, its spare parts (including its supply chain) and repairs to remain open.

v. ‘Custom Hiring Centres (CHC)’ related to farm machinery.

vi. Manufacturing, distribution and retail of fertilizers, pesticides and seeds.

vii. Movement (inter and intra State) of harvesting and sowing related machines like combined harvester and other agriculture/ horticulture implements.

B. Fisheries – the following activities will be functional:

Operations of the fishing (marine and inland)/ aquaculture industry, including feeding & maintenance, harvesting, processing, packaging, cold chain, sale and marketing.

ii. Hatcheries, feed plants, commercial aquaria.

iii. Movement of fish/ shrimp and fish products, fish seed/ feed and workers for all these activities.

C. Plantations- the following activities will be functional:

i. Operations of tea, coffee and rubber plantations, with maximum of 50 per cent workers.

ii. Processing, packaging, sale and marketing of tea, coffee, rubber and cashew, with a maximum of 50 per cent workers.

D. Animal husbandry – the following activities will be functional:

i. Collection, processing, distribution and sale of milk and milk products by milk processing plants, including transport and supply chain.

ii. Operation of animal husbandry farms including poultry farms & hatcheries and livestock farming activity.

iii. Animal feed manufacturing and feed plants, including supply of raw material, such as maize and soya.

iv. Operation of animal shelter homes, including Gaushalas.

7. Financial sector: following to remain functional:

i. Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and RBI regulated financial markets and entities like NPCI, CCIL, payment system operators and standalone primary dealers.

ii. Bank branches and ATMs, IT vendors for banking operations, Banking Correspondents (BCs), ATM operation and cash management agencies.

a. Bank branches be allowed to work as per normal working hours till disbursal of DBT cash transfers is complete.

b. Local administration to provide adequate security personnel at bank branches and BCs to maintain social distancing. law and order and staggering of account holders.

iii. SEBI, and capital and debt market services as notified by the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI).

iv. IRDAI and Insurance companies.

8. Social sector: following to remain functional:

1. Operation of homes for children/ disabled/ mentally challenged/ senior citizens/ destitute/ women/ widows.

ii. Observation homes, aftercare homes and places of safety for juveniles.

iii. Disbursement of social security pensions, e.g., old age/ widow/ freedom fighter pensions; pension and provident fund services provided by Employees Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO).

iv. Operation of Anganwadis – distribution of food items and nutrition once in 15 days at the doorsteps of beneficiaries, e.g., children, women and lactating mothers. Beneficiaries will not attend the Anganwadis.

9. Online teaching/ distance learning to be encouraged:

All educational, training, coaching institutions etc. shall remain closed.

ii. However, these establishments are expected to maintain the academic schedule through online teaching.

iii. Maximum use of Doordarshan (DD) and other educational channels may be made for teaching purposes.

10. MNREGA works to be allowed:

i. MNREGA works are allowed with strict implementation of social distancing and face mask.

ii. Priority to be given under MNREGA to irrigation and water conservation works.

iii. Other Central and State sector schemes in irrigation and water conservation sectors may also be allowed to be implemented and suitably dovetailed with MNREGA works.

11. Public utilities: following will remain functional:

i. Operations of Oil and Gas sector, including refining, transportation, distribution, storage and retail of products, e.g., petrol, diesel, kerosene, CNG, LPG, PNG etc.

ii. Generation, transmission and distribution of power at Central and State/ UT levels.

iii. Postal services, including post offices.

iv. Operations of utilities in water, sanitation and waste management sectors, at municipal/ local body levels in States and UTs.

v. Operation of utilities providing telecommunications and Internet services.

12. Movement, loading/ unloading of goods/ cargo (inter and intra-state) is allowed, as under:

i. All goods traffic will be allowed to ply.

ii. Operations of Railways: Transportation of goods and parcel trains.

iii. Operations of Airports and related facilities for air transport for cargo movement, relief and evacuation.

iv. Operations of Seaports and Inland Container Depots (ICDs) for cargo transport, including authorized custom clearing and forwarding agents.

v. Operations of Land Ports for cross land border transportation of essential goods, including petroleum products and LPG, food products, medical supplies.

vi. Movement of all trucks and other goods/ carrier vehicles with two drivers and one helper subject to the driver carrying a valid driving license; an empty truck/ vehicle will be allowed to ply after the delivery of goods, or for pick up of goods.

vii. Shops for truck repairs and dhabas on highways, with a stipulated minimum distance as prescribed by the State/ UT authorities.

viii. Movement of staff and contractual labour for operations of railways, airports/ air carriers, seaports/ ships/ vessels. landports and ICDs are allowed on passes being issued by the local authority on the basis of authorizations issued by the respective designated authority of the railways, airports, seaports, landports and 1CDs.

13. Supply of essential goods is allowed, as under:

i. All facilities in the supply chain of essential goods, whether involved in manufacturing, wholesale or retail of such goods through local stores, large brick and mortar stores or e-Commerce companies should be allowed to operate, ensuring strict social distancing without any restriction on their timing of opening and closure.

ii. Shops (including Kirana and single shops selling essential goods) and carts, including ration shops (under PDS), dealing with food and groceries (for daily use), hygiene items, fruits and vegetables, dairy and milk booths, poultry, meat and fish, animal feed and fodder etc, should be allowed to operate, ensuring strict social distancing without any restriction on their timing of opening and closure.

iii. District authorities may encourage and facilitate home delivery to minimize the movement of individuals outside their homes.

14. Commercial and private establishments, as listed below, will be allowed to operate:

i. Print and electronic media including broadcasting, DTH and cable services.

ii. IT and IT-enabled Services, with upto 50 per cent strength.

iii. Data and call centres for Government activities only.

iv. Government-approved Common Service Centres (CSCs) at Gram Panchayat level.

v. E-commerce companies. Vehicles used by e-commerce operators will be allowed to ply with necessary permissions.

vi. Courier services.

vii. Cold storage and warehousing services, including at ports, airports, railway stations, container Depots, individual units and other links in the logistics chain.

viii. Private security services and facilities management services for maintenance and upkeep of office and residential complexes.

ix. Hotels, homestays, lodges and motels, which are accommodating tourists and persons stranded due to lockdown, medical and emergency staff, air and sea crew.

x. Establishments used/ earmarked for quarantine facilities.

xi. Services provided by self-employed persons, e.g., electrician, IT repairs, plumbers, motor mechanics, and carpenters.

>15. Industries/ Industrial Establishments (both Government and private), as listed below, will be allowed to operate:

i. Industries operating in rural areas, i.e., outside the limits of municipal corporations and municipalities.

ii. Manufacturing and other industrial establishments with access control in Special Economic Zones (SEZs) and Export Oriented Units (EoUs), industrial estates, and industrial townships. These establishments shall make arrangements for the stay of workers within their premises as far as possible and/ or adjacent buildings and for implementation of the Standard operating protocol (SOP) as referred to in para 21 (ii) below. The transportation of workers to workplace shall be arranged by the employers in dedicated transport by ensuring social distancing.

iii. Manufacturing units of essential goods, including drugs, pharmaceuticals, medical devices, their raw material and intermediates.

iv. Food processing industries in rural areas, i.e., outside the limits of municipal corporations and municipalities.

v. Production units, which require a continuous process, and their supply chain.

vi. Manufacturing of IT hardware.

vii. Coal production, mines and mineral production, their transportation, a supply of explosives and activities incidental to mining operations.

viii. Manufacturing units of packaging material.

ix. Jute industries with staggered shifts and social distancing.

x. Oil and gas exploration/ refinery.

xi. Brick kilns in rural areas i.e., outside the limits of municipal corporations and municipalities.

16. Construction activities, listed as below, will be allowed to operate:

Construction of roads, irrigation projects, buildings and all kinds of industrial projects, including MSMEs, i. in rural areas, i.e., outside the limits of municipal corporations and municipalities; and all kinds of projects in industrial estates.

ii. Construction of renewable energy projects.

iii. Continuation of works in construction projects, within the limits of municipal corporations and municipalities, where workers are available on site and no workers are required to be brought in from outside (in situ construction).

17. Movement of persons is allowed in the following cases:

i. Private vehicles for emergency services, including medical and veterinary care and for procuring essential commodities. In such cases, one passenger besides the private vehicle driver can be permitted in the backseat, in case of four-wheelers; however, in case of two-wheelers, only the driver of the vehicle is to be permitted.

ii. All personnel travelling to the place of work and back in the exempted categories, as per the instructions of the State/ UT local authority.

18. Offices of the Government of India, its Autonomous/ Subordinate Offices will remain open, as mentioned below:

i. Defence, Central Armed Police Forces, Health and Family Welfare, Disaster management and Early Warning Agencies (IMD, INCOIS, SASE and National Centre of Seismology. CWC), National Informatics Centre (NIG), Food Corporation of India (FCI), NCC, Nehru Yuva Kendras (NYKs) and Customs to function without any restriction.

ii. Other Ministries and Departments, and offices under their control, are to function with 100% attendance of Deputy Secretary and levels above that. Remaining officers and staff to attend upto 33 per cent as per requirement.

19. Offices of the State/ Union Territory Governments, their Autonomous Bodies and Local Governments will remain open, as mentioned below:

i. Police, home guards, civil defence, fire and emergency services, disaster management, prisons and municipal services will function without any restrictions.

ii. All other Departments of State/ UT Governments to work with restricted staff. Group ‘A’ and ‘B’ officers may attend as required. Group ‘C’ and levels below that may attend upto 33 per cent of strength, as per the requirement to ensure social distancing. However, delivery of public services shall be ensured, necessary staff will be deployed for such purpose.

iii. District administration and Treasury (including field offices of the Accountant General) will function with restricted staff. However, delivery of public services shall be ensured, and the necessary staff will be deployed for such purpose.

iv. Resident Commissioner of States/ UTs, in New Delhi, only to the extent of coordinating COVID-19 related activities and internal kitchen operations.

v. Forest offices: staff/ workers required to operate and maintain zoo, nurseries, wildlife, fire-fighting in forests, watering plantations, patrolling and their necessary transport movement.

20. Persons to remain under mandatory quarantine, as under:

i. All such persons who have been directed by health care personnel to remain under strict home/ institutional quarantine for a period as decided by local Health Authorities.

ii. Persons violating quarantine will be liable to legal action under Section 188 of the IPC, 1860.

iii. Quarantined persons, who have arrived in India after 15.2.2020, after the expiry of their quarantine period and being tested Covid-19 negative, will be released following the protocol prescribed in the SOP issued by MHA.

21. Guidelines for public places

1. Wearing of face cover is compulsory in all public places, workplaces.

2. All persons in charge of public places, workplaces and transport shall ensure social distancing as per the guidelines issued by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

3. No organization /manager of a public place shall allow gathering of 5 or more persons

4. Gatherings such as marriages and funerals shall remain regulated by the District Magistrate.

5. Spitting in public spaces shall be punishable with a fine.

6. There should be a strict ban on the sale of liquor, gutka, tobacco etc. and spitting should be strictly prohibited.

22. Guidelines for workplaces

1. All workplaces shall have adequate arrangements for temperature screening and provide sanitizers at convenient places.

2. Workplaces shall have a gap of one hour between shifts and will stagger the lunch breaks of staff, to ensure social distancing.

3. Persons above 65 years of age and persons with co-morbidities and parents of children below the age of 5 may be encouraged to work from home.

4. Use of Arogya setu will be encouraged for all employees both private and public.

5. All organizations shall sanitize their workplaces between shifts.

6. Large meetings to be prohibited.

23. Guidelines for manufacturing establishments

1. Frequent cleaning of common surfaces and mandatory hand washing shall be mandated.

2. No overlap of shifts and staggered lunch with social distancing in canteens shall be ensured.

3. Intensive communication and training on good hygiene practices shall be taken up.

24. Measures to be taken by offices, factories and other establishments

1. All areas in the premises including the following shall be disinfected completely using user-friendly disinfectant mediums:

a. Entrance Gate of building, office etc.

b. Cafeteria and canteens.

c. Meeting room, Conference halls/ open areas available/ verandah/ entrance gate of site, bunkers, porta cabins, building etc.

d. Equipment and lifts.

e. Washroom, toilet, sink; water points etc.

f. Walls/ all other surfaces

2. For workers coming from outside, special transportation facility will be arranged without any dependency on the public transport system. These vehicles should be allowed to work only with 30-40% passenger capacity.

3. All vehicles and machinery entering the premise should be disinfected by spray mandatorily.

4. Mandatory thermal scanning of everyone entering and exiting the workplace to be done.

5. Medical insurance for the workers to be made mandatory.

6. Provision for hand wash and sanitizer preferably with touch-free mechanism will be made at all entry and exit points and common areas. Sufficient quantities of all the items should be available.

7. Workplaces shall have a gap of one hour between shifts and will stagger the lunch breaks of staff, to ensure social distancing. Large gatherings or meetings of 10 or more people to be discouraged. Seating at least 6 feet away from others on job sites and in gatherings, meetings and training sessions.

9. Not more than 2/4 persons (depending on size) will be allowed to travel in lifts or hoists.

10. Use of staircase should be encouraged.

11. There should be a strict ban on gutka, tobacco etc. and spitting should be strictly prohibited.

12. There should be a total ban on non-essential visitors at sites.

13. Hospitals/clinics in the nearby areas, which are authorized to treat Covid-19 patients, should be identified and a list should be available at workplace all the times.

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