Lockdown extended by 2 more weeks

Extending the lockdown for the second time till May 17 from 3rd May, the home ministry announced new guidelines based on the demarcation of the country into red zones with “significant risk of spread of the infection”; green zones with either zero cases or no confirmed cases in the past 21 days; and those in between as orange.

While some curbs will apply across the country, there will be considerable relaxations in districts in green and orange zones to revive economic activity that has been stalled during the tough restrictions in place since March 25

The new guidelines say “for the well-being and safety” of people, movement will be banned between 7 pm and 7 am except for essential reasons. Those above 65, persons with co-morbidities, pregnant women and children below 10 will stay at home, except necessary.

Travel by air, rail, metro and inter-state movement by road will remain banned. Schools, colleges, hotels, restaurants; cinemas, malls, shopping centres, gyms and sports complexes will also stay shut. Gatherings — social, political, cultural and religious — will also not resume for now.

All goods traffic will be allowed between states, without passes. Air, rail or road travel will be allowed with special permission only.Private offices can operate with up to 33% strength, with the rest on Work-From-Home.

Banks, public utilities like power, water, sanitation, waste management, telecommunications and internet will remain open, and courier and postal services will be allowed to operate.Media, IT and IT-enabled services, data and call centres, cold storage and warehousing services, private security, plumbers and electricians will be allowed (not barbers).

Shops selling liquor, paan, gutka and tobacco will be allowed in green and orange zones but they have to ensure “do gaz doori (six-feet distance)” and not more than five people at a time.

In the orange zones, taxis and cab aggregators will be allowed to operate with one passenger. Cars can have two passengers besides the driver and pillion riding will be allowed on two-wheelers.In the Green Zones, all activities will reopen except those banned across the country. But in these areas, buses can operate only with half the seating capacity.

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