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Unlock 2.0: Lockdown in containment zones extended until July 31

COVID-19, masks

Lockdown will continue to remain in force in containment zones until July 31 with strict perimeter control and enforcement of containment measures, the Ministry of Home Affairs said in its guidelines released 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. Essential activities also include operations of industrial units, movement of goods and people on highways, loading and unloading of cargo, and last mile travel by people after disembarking from buses, trains and airports. No separate permissions, approvals or e-permits will be required for inter-state and intra-state movement of goods and people, or for cross land-border trade under treaties with neighbouring countries.

Like Unlock 1.0, 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. However, in light of private companies and different government agencies/authorities (including state governments, educational institutions, etc.) adopting a piecemeal approach to mandating this app for employees and citizens, the voluntary nature of this app is meaningless.

In areas outside containment zones, all activities are permitted except:

  • Schools, colleges, educational and coaching institutions
  • International air travel, except as permitted by the MHA
  • Metros
  • 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.

However, training institutions of the Central and State Governments will start functioning from July 15 as per SOP issued by the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT).

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.

According to letter sent by Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla to all state and UT administrators, depending on space available, shops can have more than 5 persons at a time. Dates for remaining prohibited activities will be decided separately, on the basis of assessment of the situation.

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