Monday 24 January 2022
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Guidelines for nationwide lockdown 2.0: 20 April – 3 May

Activities and services that will remain restricted and those that will be exempted from the lockdown are clearly stated in the guidelines

The Narendra Modi government today issued new guidelines for the second phase of the lockdown implemented to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Activities and services that will remain restricted and those that will be exempted from the lockdown are clearly stated in the guidelines.

There will be no exemption in hotspots. The bases of exemption and preconditions for it are explained in the guidelines too. Following are the restrictions and exemptions the Ministry of Home Affairs has put in place for public life, beginning 20 April.

Guidelines for Lockdown 2.0: What is not permitted

Public transport and spaces

During Lockdown 2.0, as it has been so far, all modes of public transport and all types of public spaces will remain suspended until 3 May. That is, the ban on the plying of buses, metro services, trains, flights, autorickshaws, cab services, taxis, etc will continue.

Unhygienic conduct

Spitting in public places is now a punishable offence.

Sale of objects of addiction

There is strict prohibition on the sale of alcohol, gutka and tobacco.

Education centres

Educational institutions like schools, colleges, universities and coaching centres will remain closed.

Recreational spots

Public places like cinemas, malls, shopping complexes, gymnasiums, sports complexes, swimming pools and bars will remain closed till 3 May.

All assemblies

All social, political, sports and religious ceremonies involving the coming together of people at one place remain banned. Along these lines, therefore, religious places and places for mass prayers will remain closed to the people until 3 May.

Guidelines for Lockdown 2.0: What is permitted

Cottage, small-scale industries, village-based SEZ

According to the MHA guidelines, business activities have been allowed in a limited scope in rural areas. The industry has been exempted in rural areas under the condition that no part thereof falls under the jurisdiction of any municipality or urban civic authority.

Special economic zones are included in the areas that have been granted a concession. However, social distance will have to be maintained in these areas.

Exempted industries

The nationwide lockdown, according to the new guidelines, exempts food processing, IT hardware, coal industry, mine industry, oil refinery industry, packaging industry and jute industry. These industries will be able to operate 20 April onwards.

Brick kilns have been allowed to run in rural areas. Road construction, irrigation projects and building construction work have been exempted from the purview of the ban.

Medicine and health

Bearing in mind that the people need some economic activity to sustain, the MHA has permitted limited activities, subject to strict adherence to social distancing and other guidelines. All types of health services are exempted. Manufacturing and packaging of medicines have been allowed too.

The manufacture and sale of equipment will restart from April 20. Also, construction of health infrastructure, including purchase of ambulances, will start from then on too.

Agriculture and farm produce

The guidelines allow all types of farming.

Mandis (wholesale markets of farm produce) are exempted from the lockdown. Shops dealing in agricultural products have been allowed to stay open.

The guidelines permit running machines and shops of accessories related to agriculture.

Horticulture (growing flowers, fruits and vegetables) is exempted too.

Fish farming is completely exempted.

MGNREGA run in rural areas is completely exempted.

Fuel production and distribution

According to the new guidelines, production and distribution of gas, oil, LPG, PNG are exempted.

Power

The power sector has been kept completely free.

-style communication

Postal services are exempted from restrictions.

Movement of heavy goods

Railway transportation and road transportation of goods are allowed.

Fixing things

Electricians, IT operators, motor mechanics, plumbers and carpenters can do their respective jobs. These professionals can resume their work while observing social distancing after 20 April.

Eateries along highways

Dhabas on highways will remain open during the lockdown.

In addition, truck repair shops will also be open.

In the first phase of the lockdown, they were not exempted, due to which the truckers faced a lot of problems. The condition during the first phase of the lockdown was that food for the truckers and their helpers could be obtained only from the NHIA at toll plazas.

Essentials for kitchens

Grocery stores, fruits, vegetable shops and carts, milk booths, eggs, meat and fish shops will remain open during the lockdown.

Union ministries and central departments

Activities under the ministries of defence, of home affairs (including of the states) like the police and paramilitary forces, of health and family welfare, of disaster management, NIC, FCI, NCC, Nehru Yuva Kendra and customs offices will face no restriction.

Other ministries and departments will work with officers of the rank of deputy secretary and above with “100% attendance’. The guidelines state, “The rest of the officers and employees will work with up to 33% attendance as per requirement.”

The MHA guidelines clearly state that all central offices will have 100% attendance of officers above the rank of deputy secretary while the presence of employees below the rank of under-secretary should be around 33% as per the requirement.

The states and union territories have been directed to call up to 33% of the employees below Group A and B services, as per the requirement.

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