Lockdown 5.0 OR Unlock 1?

On Thursday, confirmed COVID-19 cases crossed 1.6 lakh to make India the world’s 9th worst-hit country by the deadly virus infection, while the death toll went past 4,600 to near China’s official count of 4,634 deaths.

MHA (Ministry of Home Affairs) issues national directives for COVID-19 management, including compulsory use of face masks and social distancing norms. The MHA on Saturday, 30th May, has issued guidelines for phased re-opening of all activities outside containment zones till 30th June. 

While the order states that there will be no restriction on inter-state and intra-state movement of people and good from 1st June. Religious places, hospitality services, malls, and restaurants can have been allowed to reopen from 8th June.

What activities have been allowed from 1st June?

  • Inter-state travel and intra-state travel has been allowed
  • The night curfew which was from 7:00 pm to 7:00 am is now restricted from 9:00 pm to 5:00 am

Will I need a pass to undertake inter-state travel from 1st June?

No, the MHA order clearly states that no e-pass will be required for any inter-state travel.

How about interstate transport?

No restrictions there. You don’t need separate permission, approval for such movement. But states can regulate movement if the situation demands so. Trains, domestic flights will continue as per the earlier plan.

What activities/services have been allowed from 8th June?

  • Religious places, places of worship
  • Hospitality services, hotels, and restaurants
  • Shops inside shopping malls

I live in a containment zone. Will these relaxations be allowed for me too?

These concessions do not apply to the containment zone. The government has decided to extend the lockdown in containment zones till 30th June. What becomes a containment zone will be decided by the district administration. These zones will see only essential activities. There will be strict contact tracing, surveillance in these zones. States will take a call on details of restrictions in their respective zones.

MHA has given these relaxations. But can my state prohibit some activities?

  • If states, based on reasons of public health and assessment of the situation, propose to regulate the movement of people, it has been directed to give wide publicity in advance regarding these restrictions.
  • No state/union territory shall stop the movement of goods for cross land-border trade under treaties with neighboring countries.

When will schools and colleges reopen? Do the new rules say anything about this?

The decision on the reopening of schools and colleges will be taken in July 2020 after consultations with state governments and other stakeholders.

What activities/services continue to be prohibited during Lockdown 5.0?

  • International air travel.
  • Metro rail services in all cities.
  • Schools, colleges, educational, training, coaching institutions, etc. will remain closed. Online or distance learning shall continue to be permitted and shall be encouraged.
  • Cinema halls, Gyms, Swimming pools.
  • All academic, cultural, social, political, sports, entertainment, religious functions, other gatherings, and large congregations.
  • The restriction on the number of people who can attend marriages and funerals remains at 50 and 20 respectively.

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Rohit Singhaniya

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