The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has issued a fresh set of guidelines as we enter into the second phase of a country-wide lockdown in India amidst the coronavirus pandemic. The Ministry has made provisions for select activities to resume, post 20 April 2020, focused on benefiting the poor. All States and Union Territories in India have been asked to follow MHA guidelines while strictly enforcing the lockdown. The new guidelines have provisions for daily wage workers and farmers, as addressed by PM Narendra Modi in his speech on 14 April 2020. Here are the latest rules you should know about:
What remains nonoperational?
Here are the few activities that will remain shut in the second phase of the lockdown:
1. Passenger travel by road, air and railways
2. Educational institutions
3. Industrial and commercial establishments
4. Hospitality services
5. Movie theaters, recreational centres and shopping malls
6. Political and social events. As well as other events that promote gatherings of people
7. Places of worship, religious congregations and meetings
While all the above activities remain suspended for public use, certain exceptions have been made for activities linked to health care and supply of essential commodities. Since all educational institutions will remain closed, the Ministry has asked all the managements to continue teaching the curriculum via online classes.
These services will resume post 20 April 2020:
1. Agriculture and agriculture-related activities will fully be resumed in order to create jobs for daily wage earners
2. Industries in rural areas will be allowed – only with safety measures and strict social distancing norms. Pharmaceutical manufacturing units and medical equipment manufacturers are permitted to operate.
2. Inter-state transport for goods, essential and non-essential items. Truck repair shops and highway dhabas will also be resumed.
3. Call centres for government activities can reopen from April 20
4. MNREGA activities will resume – priority will be given to water conservation and irrigation work
5. Construction of roads, irrigation projects, buildings and industrial projects in rural areas to resume
6. Supply of poultry, milk and milk products, livestock farming; tea, coffee and rubber plantations to resume
7. IT and IT-enabled services, e-commerce, call centres for government activities
8. Important Central and State Government offices, local body offices will be open
9. Post-implementation of SOP for social distancing, industrial establishments with access control to be allowed in EoUs, SEZs, industrial townships and estates.
10. Manufacture of IT hardware, packaging and essential goods to resume
11. Coal, mineral and oil production will be resumed
12. Banks, ATMs, The Reserve Bank of India, insurance companies, capital and debt markets as notified by SEBI will remain operational
The Ministry has also issued new guidelines making mask-wearing compulsory for all citizens stepping out of their homes. Strict action will be taken against those violating the new rules.