Govt in lockdown exit mode limits curbs to containment zones till June 30


New Delhi, May 30 (IANS): The Centre on Saturday took an exit step from the 68-day nationwide lockdown, declaring that the restrictions will be limited to only containment zones up to June 30 and that the prohibited activities will be opened in a phased manner in areas outside these zones.

Applicable from Monday, June 1, the fresh order issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) spoke of the expanded fresh guidelines a day ahead of the end of lockdown 4.0.

"In exercise of powers under section 6 (2) (i) of the Disaster Management Act, 2005, National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) it has directed the undersigned to issue an order to extend the lockdown in containment zones up to June 30, and reopen prohibited activities in a phased manner in areas outside containment zones," the order says.

Therefore, in exercise of the powers conferred under section 10 (2)(l) of the Disaster Management Act 2005, it is directed that the guidelines will remain in force up to June 30.

Night curfew between 9 pm and 5 am

As the Centre on Saturday adopted an exit step towards the 67-day long nationwide lockdown, declaring that the restrictions will be limited only to the containment zones up to June 30, it has also shortened the night curfew timings.

As per an order issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), the night curfew will be imposed between 9 p.m. and 5 a.m., instead of the present timing of 7 p.m. to 7 a.m.

"Night curfew movement of individuals shall remain strictly prohibited between 9 p.m. and 5 a.m. throughout the country, except for essential activities," the MHA said in its order.

The local authorities, it said, will issue orders in the entire area in their jurisdiction under the appropriate provisions of law.

The order said that the lockdown shall continue to remain in force in the containment zones till June 30.

"Containment zones will be demarcated by the district authorities after taking into consideration the guidelines of the Union Health Ministry," the order read.

As per the order, only essential activities will be allowed in the containment zones.

"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," the order said.

The order also said that the states and Union Territories may 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," the order said.

It also said that the states and Union Territories, based on their assessment of the situation, may prohibit certain activities outside the containment zones, or impose such restrictions as deemed necessary.

Hotels, restaurants to open in non-containment zones from June 8

The Centre on Saturday announced extension of the nationwide lockdown till June 30, but along with phase-wise relaxations in restrictions like reopening of hotels and schools in non-containment zones.

The gradual relaxations in lockdown restrictions will be put in effect in three phases.

"In areas outside containment zones, all activities will be permitted except the following, 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," read a Ministry of Home Affairs order addressed to all Chief Secretaries and different departments of the Centre.

In Phase 1, all religious places will be thrown open in non-containment zones from June 8. Hotels, restaurants and other hospitality services and even shopping malls will be allowed to reopen in the non-containment zones.

However, the Health Ministry will issue SOPs for such activities after due consultation with ministries and departments concerned. That is aimed to ensure social distancing and stop the spread of the virus.

In phase 2, schools, colleges, educational training institutes will be thrown open. But they will be done only after consulting state governments and UT administrations, which in turn may hold further consultation with parents, before doing so.

"Based on the feedback, a decision on the reopening of these institutions will be taken in June 2020," said the guidelines that came along with the MHA order.

The Health Ministry will prepare an SOP for this as well.

In phase 3, "based on the assessment of the situation", dates for resumption of international air service operation will be decided, except as permitted by the MHA.

In what may come as a great news for daily commuters, metro services, cinemas, gyms, swimming pools, entertainment parks, theatres, bars and even auditoriums as well as assembly halls may also be allowed to function from a certain date, provided the situation allows the Centre to do so.

In phase 3, the government is likely to take a call on allowing social, political, sports, entertainment, academic, cultural or religious functions or large congregations.

However, the government has made one thing clear that all these activities will be allowed only in non-containment zones.

The Centre also said that all decisions pertaining to phase 3 like reopening of gyms and metro services will depend much on the situation at that given point in time.

For a population of 130 crore reeling under over 2-month lockdown, Saturday's announcement comes as a pleasant surprise.

The nationwide lockdown was imposed on March 25 with the announcement of the restrictions by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to contain the spread of COVID-19 pandemic. The lockdown was extended thrice earlier.

 

  

Comment on this article

  • Bhavya Baliga, Udupi

    Sat, May 30 2020

    Thank God and touch wood, none of these berating commentators below had any corona related issues with their family.
    Otherwise, their tones would have been totally different.

    The government policy now onward would be: "Be responsible to yourself; don't blame us anymore".

    DisAgree [8] Agree [5] Reply Report Abuse

  • Sahil, Mangaluru

    Sun, May 31 2020

    Madam when I saw your comment. I feel to share village chilly with you 🤗😁😊take it easy.... Americsl chilly not spicy na😜😜😜

    DisAgree [3] Agree Reply Report Abuse

  • Bhavya Baliga, Udupi

    Sun, May 31 2020

    Height of impotence and idiotism.

    DisAgree [2] Agree [2] Reply Report Abuse

  • Sahil, Mangaluru

    Sat, May 30 2020

    Center fed up with Un planned lockdown not yielded any good result...

    DisAgree [7] Agree [14] Reply Report Abuse

  • Sahil, Mangaluru

    Sat, May 30 2020

    Swing mode.

    DisAgree [5] Agree [6] Reply Report Abuse

  • Jossey Saldanha, Mumbai

    Sat, May 30 2020

    GDP has already crossed Negative Zone ...

    DisAgree [11] Agree [17] Reply Report Abuse


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