The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has released a set of guidelines which is to be followed amidst the lockdown2.0 period. The newly released guidelines, which will come in effect from April 20, come with certain relaxations for a few sectors like agriculture, IT, e-commerce and inter-state transport considering the hardships faced by the daily waged migrant workers during this lockdown time.
The Government of India has also made face masks mandatory in public as well as workspaces. Also, the Government has also stressed on practising social distancing. For different sectors exemptions has been given as follows:
The guidelines clearly state that all the healthcare centres and services and the social sector will remain functional. Also, public utilities will be allowed to remain operational. Moreover, chemists, pharmacies, veterinary hospitals, medical equipment stores, manufacturing units of drugs, medical equipment, construction of media infrastructure will also be functioning.
Agriculture-related functions such as procurement of the farm produce; marketing of the farm produce through notified mandis, direct and decentralized marketing; manufacturing units; distribution and retail of fertilizers; pesticides and seeds; activities of marine and inland fisheries; and animal husbandry activities like the supply chain of milk and milk products, poultry and livestock farming will be exempted from the lockdown and can remain operational.
Moreover, those industries operating in rural areas like food processing industries are also allowed to remain functional. Further, road construction, irrigation projects, buildings and industrial projects in rural areas; works under MNREGA, with priority to irrigation and water conservation works; and Common Service Centres (CSCs) are also exempted from the lockdown2.0.
Aquaculture sector, fishing and supply of fish products now allowed. Tea, coffee and rubber plantations with 50 percent of the workforce are allowed to resume functions.
Banking and Financial sector
For the Banking and Finance sector the Government has exempted RBI, banks, ATMs, capital and debt markets as notified by SEBI and insurance companies.
Social Service sector
The Government has allowed homes for children, mentally disabled, senior citizens, destitutes to function. Also, Anganwadis, observation homes are allowed as well.
Morover, the works under MNREGA are asked to resume functions ensuring strict implementation of social distancing and every worker has to wear mask.
Public Service sector
Keeping in mind the requirement and the need for such resources, the Government has allowed the functioning of petrol pumps, LPG distribution centres, petroleum and gas retail and storage outlets.
Also, the power sector including generation, transmission and distribution at Central and State/UT levels will be operational.
Moreover, services like post offices, municipal corporations, local body levels, telecommunications and internet, and transport including railways, airports, seaports for the transport of good and cargo movement, trucks with two drivers and one helper are allowed to resume functions.
Essential services including ration shops (under PDS), dealing with food, groceries, fruits and vegetables, dairy and milk booths, meat and fish, animal fodder, fertilizers, seeds and pesticides are allowed to remain open in the second phase of the lockdown as well. However, no restrictions on timings have been imposed.
E-commerce operations, couriers services are allowed. Also, print and electronic media will remain unaffected with the lockdown2.0.
Cold storage and warehousing services. And, services provided by self-employed persons like electrician, plumber are also allowed to resume. Data and call centers for Government activities are also exempted from the lockdown.
Moreover, hotels, homestays, lodges and motels, which are accommodating tourists and persons stranded due to lockdown, medical and emergency staff, air and sea crew can also resume their functions.
Manufacturing units, factories and Industries
Apart from those industries mentioned above, industries engaged in production of coal, mine, mineral, packaging material, jute, brick kilns will also be allowed to resume operations.
Also, manufacturing and other industrial establishments with access control will be allowed in SEZs, EoUs, industrial estates and industrial townships after implementation of SOP for social distancing. Manufacture of IT hardware and of essential goods and packaging can resume.
Prohibitions during lockdown 2.0
Travelling by air, rail and road; operation of educational and training institutions; industrial and commercial activities; hospitality services; all cinema halls, shopping complexes, theatres, etc.; all social, political and other events; and opening of all religious places/ places of worship for members of public, including religious congregations.
Unchecked in & out movement in containment zones are strictly restricted, except for maintaining essential services which includes medical emergencies and law & order duties, and government business continuity.
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All the educational institutions will remain closed. No more than 5 people can gather in a public place.
Moreover, spitting in public has been made a punishable offence and the ones found violating will be fined. The Government has banned liquor, gutka, tobacco etc.
As per the MHA, in case violation of the guidelines is observed, penal action will be taken under Section 51 to 60 and Section 188 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).