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Lockdown in containment zones extended until June 30, others to re-open in phased manner

Lockdown will extend until June 30 in containment zones while prohibited activities are allowed to reopen in a phased manner outside the containment zones, according to guidelines issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs today. However, “night curfew” on movement of individuals except for essential activities will remain in effect from 9 pm to 5 am across the country. Section 144 orders may be passed by local authorities to enforce it.

Like last time, Aarogya Setu is not mandatory. However, employers “on best effort basis should ensure” that the app is installed by all employees with “compatible mobile phones”. District authorities “may advise individuals” to install the app.

Containment zones will be defined by district authorities as per guidelines by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. Only essential activities will be allowed, and like earlier, strict perimeter control, intensive contact tracing, house-to-house surveillance, etc. will be carried out in these zones. States and UTs can identify buffer zones as well, whose restrictions will be put in place by district authorities.

No permissions required for inter-state movement of people, goods (with exceptions)

No separate permissions, permits, passes are required for inter-state movement of people and goods except for (who will be regulated by already issued SOPs):

  • Movement of passenger trains, Shramik special trains
  • Domestic air travel
  • Repatriation of Indian nationals stranded abroad, and specified people allowed to travel abroad
  • Evacuation of foreign nationals
  • Sign-on and sign-off Indian seafarers

But, if a state/UT has restrictions in place for public health reasons, it has to advertise those restricts “in advance” and define the procedures that need to be followed.

Trade of goods under treaties with neighbouring countries will also be allowed.

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Activities allowed outside containment zones in 3 phases

All activities except the ones outlines below will be allowed (only outside containment zones). Restrictions on weddings (not more than 50 guests) and funerals (not more than 20 people) will remain. The activities listed below will be allowed in a phased manner and standard operating procedures (SOP) for them will be prescribed by the MoHFW. These SOPs will set down guidelines for social distancing and containing the spread of COVID-19. But states and UTs can independently assess the situation and prohibit more activities even outside the containment zones.

Phase I (with effect from June 8)

  • Religious places, places of worhsip
  • Hotels, restaurants and other hospitality services
  • Shopping malls

Phase II (decision to be taken in July)

Decision to reopen schools, colleges, educational/training institutions, etc. will be taken in July after consultations with states and UTs. State government and UT administrations can hold consultations with parents and other stakeholders.

Phase III (decision to be taken at an undetermined date)

Phase III’s dates will be decided on the basis of assessment of the situation. Phase III activities include:

  • International air travel (except as permitted by Home Ministry)
  • Metro services
  • Cinema halls, gyms, swimming pools, entertainment parks, theatres, bars, auditoriums, assembly halls, etc.
  • Social/political/sports/entertainment/academic/cultural/religious functions and other large congregations.

***Update (7:34 pm): Originally published on May 30 at 7:12 pm.

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