Saturday, 26 September 2020

Relaxations only in Green Zone areas as govt extended lockdown 

Updated: May 2, 2020 10:04 am
The Centre yesterday decided to extend the ongoing lockdown by two weeks from 4th of this month. The Ministry of Home Affairs issued an order under the Disaster Management Act, 2005, to further extend the lockdown. Home Ministry said, the decision has been taken after a comprehensive review of the COVID-19 situation.

The Ministry also issued new guidelines to regulate different activities in this period, based on the risk profiling of the districts of the country into Red, Green and Orange Zones. The guidelines have permitted considerable relaxations in the districts falling in the Green and Orange Zones. The Green Zones will be districts with either zero confirmed cases till date; or no confirmed case in the last 21 days.  The classification of districts as Red Zones will take into account the total number of active cases, doubling rate of confirmed cases, extent of testing and surveillance feedback from the districts. Those districts, which are neither defined as Red nor Green, shall be classified as Orange zones.

The prohibited activities include travel by air, rail, metro and inter-state movement by road, running of schools, colleges, and other educational and training hospitality services, cinema halls, malls, gymnasiums, sports complexes. All social, political, cultural and other kinds of gatherings and religious places or places of worship for public will also remain shut. Movement of persons by air, rail and road is allowed for select purposes and for purposes as permitted by MHA.

Outside the containment zone falling within Red Zones, certain activities are prohibited in addition to those prohibited throughout the country which includes plying of cycle rickshaws and auto-rickshaws, running of taxis and cab aggregators, intra-district and inter-district plying of buses, and barber shops, spas and saloons.

However, some activities have been allowed in the Red Zones with restrictions that includes movement of individuals and vehicles is allowed only for permitted activities with a maximum of two persons besides the driver in four-wheeler vehicles and with no pillion rider in the case of two-wheelers.

Industrial establishments in urban areas including Special Economic Zones, Export Oriented Units, industrial estates and industrial townships with access control have been permitted. Construction activities in urban areas have been limited to in-situ construction where workers are available on site and no workers are required to be brought in from outside and construction of renewable energy projects.

E-Commerce activities in the Red Zones are permitted only in respect of essential goods. Private offices can operate with up to 33 per cent strength as per requirement, with the remaining persons working from home. All government offices shall function with senior officers of the level of Deputy Secretary and above at full strength and the remaining staff attending up to 33 per cent as per requirement.

Most of the commercial and private establishments have been allowed in the Red Zones which includes print and electronic media, IT and IT-enabled services, data and call centres, cold storage and warehousing services, private security and facility management services and services provided by self-employed persons except for barbers. In the Green Zones, all activities are permitted except the limited number of activities which are prohibited throughout the country, irrespective of the Zone. However, buses can operate with up to 50 per cent seating capacity and bus depots can operate with up to 50 per cent capacity.

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