Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has extended the nationwide lockdown in India to contain the spread of COVID-19 by 2 more weeks from May 4. However, many activities will be permitted during this period.
MHA on May 1 issued new guidelines to regulate different activities in this period, based on the risk profiling of the districts of the country into Red (hotspot), Green and Orange zones.
The guidelines have permitted considerable relaxations in the districts falling in the Green and Orange Zones.
The ministry informed that a limited number of activities will remain prohibited across India, irrespective of the zone, including travel by air, rail, metro and inter-state movement by road; running of schools, colleges, and other educational & training/coaching institutions; hospitality services (including hotels and restaurants); places of large public gatherings such as cinema halls, malls, gymnasiums, sports complexes etc; social, political, cultural and other kinds of gatherings; and, religious places/ places of worship for public. However, movement of persons by air, rail and road is allowed for select purposes, and for purposes as permitted by MHA.
In the Red Zones, outside the Containment Zones, certain activities are prohibited in addition to those prohibited throughout the country. These are: plying of cycle rickshaws and auto rickshaws; running of taxis and cab aggregators; intra-district and inter-district plying of buses; and, barber shops, spas and saloons.
However, all standalone (single) shops, neighborhood (colony) shops and shops in residential complexes are permitted to remain open in urban areas, without any distinction of essential and non-essential. E-Commerce activities, in the Red Zones, are permitted only in respect of essential goods. Private offices can operate with upto 33% strength as per requirement, with the remaining persons working from home.
In the Orange Zones, in addition to activities permitted in Red Zone, taxis and cab aggregators will be permitted with 1 driver and 2 passengers only. Inter-district movement of individuals and vehicles will be allowed for permitted activities only. Four wheeler vehicles will have maximum two passengers besides the driver and pillion riding will be allowed on two-wheelers.
In the Green Zones, all activities are permitted except the limited number of activities which are prohibited throughout the country, irrespective of the Zone. However buses can operate with upto 50% seating capacity and bus depots can operate with upto 50% capacity.