As the country enters the third phase of unlocking amid the coronavirus pandemic, the state of Andhra Pradesh has issued guidelines for phased reopening as part of Unlock 3.0. In an order released by the Chief Secretary Nilam Sawhney, it has been stated that lockdown shall continue to be in effect in containment zones until 31 August 2020. In the containment zones, which will be demarcated by the district authorities, only essential activities will be allowed. 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.
In areas outside the containment Zones, all activities will be permitted, except the following:
(i) Schools, colleges, educational and coaching institutions will remain closed till 31st August, 2020. Online/ distance learning shall continue to be permitted and shall be encouraged.
(ii) Cinema halls, swimming pools, entertainment parks, theatres, bars, auditoriums, assembly halls and similar places.
Yoga institutes and gymnasiums will be allowed to function from 5th August 2020 for which, Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) will be issued by the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare (MoHFW).
(iii) International air travel of passengers, except as permitted by MHA.
(iv) Metro Rail.
(v) Social/ political/ sports/ entertainment/ academic/ cultural/ religious functions and other large congregations.
Dates for re-starting the above activities may be decided separately and necessary SOPs shall be issued for ensuring social distancing and to contain the spread of COVID-19.
The guidelines also clarified that there shall be no restriction on inter-state and intra-state movement of persons and goods including those for cross land-border trade under treaties with neighbouring countries. No separate permission/ approval/ e-permit will be required for such movements. Movement by passenger trains and Shramik special trains; domestic passenger air travel; movement of Indian nationals stranded outside the country and of specified persons to travel abroad; evacuation of foreign nationals; and sign-on and sign-off of Indian seafarers will continue to be regulated as per SOPs issued.
Mentioning guidelines for Independence day functions in Unlock 3.0, the Andhra Pradesh Chief Secretary noted, “Independence day functions at National, State, District, Sub-Division, Municipal and Panchayat levels and ‘At Home’ functions, wherever held, will be allowed with social distancing and by following other health protocols e.g. wearing of masks.
Andhra Pradesh Chief Secretary reiterated the importance of following the safety measures such as covering the face with a mask, maintaining physical distancing, avoiding large gatherings, refraining from spitting in the public, avoiding consumption of liquor/paan/gutka/tobacco in public places, and frequent sanitisation among others.