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Lockdown 4.0: Extended until May 31, Aarogya Setu no longer mandatory for employees

COVID-19, mask

The Ministry of Home Affairs has released its guidelines for lockdown 4.0 that the National Disaster Management Authority extended until May 31. Aarogya Setu is no longer mandatory. However, employers "on best effort basis should ensure" that the app is installed by all employees with "compatible mobile phones". Unlike the previous guidelines, the new guidelines will not hold employers responsible for failing to do so. District authorities "may advise individuals" to install the app. However, as per MHA's orders dated April 29 and May 1 for movement of migrant workers, pilgrims, tourists, students and other stranded people, on their arrival at their destination, they "may" be encouraged to download the app. Also, it is not clear if central government employees, who had been mandated by the Department of Personnel and Training (DOPT), or Prasar Bharati employees, will also be similarly guided by "best effort". It is also not clear what will happen if employers make it mandatory for employees to download the app on their phones. We had earlier reported that the government was reviewing its earlier decision to mandate Aarogya Setu. Now that the app is no longer mandatory, it remains to be seen what will happen in Kerala High Court tomorrow as the court hears three petitions against mandating it. In addition to the earlier defined Red, Orange, Green and Containment Zones, the new guidelines also talk about a Buffer Zone which, as per a letter sent by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare Secretary Preeti Sudan…

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