COVID-19: Unlock – The Way Ahead – Part I

Guidelines for Lockdown 5.0 – Limited to Containment Zones

The Ministry of Home Affairs (“MHA”) in exercise of the powers under section 6(2)(i) of the Disaster Management Act, 2005, National Disaster Management Authority has issued an Order (dated 30th May 2020) to further to extend the lockdown in Containment Zones upto 30th June 2020 and issued guidelines to re-open the prohibited activities, in a phased manner, in areas outside Containment Zones (“Guidelines”).

In the Containment Zones, except essential activities no other activities shall be permitted. However, there are certain activities which will be resumed and intimated at a later point in time basis the assessment of the Covid outbreak situation. A list of these activities is detailed hereinbelow:

  • International air travel of passengers, except as permitted by MHA;
  • Metro Rails;
  • Cinema halls, gymnasiums, swimming pools, theatres, entertainment parks, assembly halls and similar places; and
  • Social/ political/ sports/ entertainment/ academic/ cultural/ religious functions and other large congregations.

The Guidelines state that there should be strict enforcement of the said Guidelines by the State/ UTs and it also mentions that the State/ UTs may prohibit certain activities outside the Containment Zones or impose restrictions as it deems fits, basis their assessment of the situation.

Additional Directives: The Guidelines also entail additional directives (detailed hereinbelow) to be followed by a Workplace:

  • As far as possible, the practice of work from home should be followed by various workplaces;
  • Staggering of work/ business hours shall be followed in offices, shops and commercial establishments, etc.; and
  • Provision for thermal scanning shall be made available and ensure that social distancing norms are followed by all. Frequent sanitization of entire workplace shall be ensured.
  • 200612 Table for List of Activities permitted, not permitted

Status in Maharashtra

Maharashtra being the State with the highest number of Covid-19 cases in the country, the Government of Maharashtra after careful consideration of planning of containment areas and availability of health infrastructure, for the strict implementation by the concerned authorities of all the departments in the State, has issued an Order dated 31st May 2020 to extend the lockdown until 30th June 2020 with amendments in the existing guidelines (“GoM Order”). The key highlights of the revised guidelines are:

  • All Government Offices (excluding emergency, medical, disaster management, etc.) have been allowed to function with 15% strength or minimum 15 people whichever is more;
  • All private offices have been allowed to operate with upto 10% strength as per requirement, with the remaining people working from home;
  • Self-employed people such as plumbers, electricians, etc. have been permitted to operate;
  • All markets, market areas and shops, except malls and market complexes, have been allowed to operate; and
  • The movement of individuals remain strictly prohibited between 9.00 pm to 5.00 am, except for essential activities.

Schools, colleges, educational/ training/ coaching institutions, metro rail, passenger movement by trains and domestic air travel, unless specifically allowed through separate orders and Standard Operating Procedures (“SOPs”), cinema halls, gymnasiums, swimming pools, entertainment parks, theatres, shopping malls, hotels, restaurants and other hospitality services, etc. will remain prohibited across the state of Maharashtra. The list of key activities that have been permitted and not permitted pursuant to the GoM Order can be viewed here.

The Government of Maharashtra vide an Order dated 4th June 2020 has further amended the GoM Order, the key amendments being:

  • All private offices which were previously allowed to operate with 10% strength will now be allowed to operate with 10% strength or 10 people whichever is more with effect from 8th June 2020;
  • Printing and distribution of newspaper has been permitted with effect from 7th June 2020;
  • Office/ staff of educational institutions has been permitted to operate only for non-teaching purposes; and
  • Inter-district movement of persons within the area of Municipal Corporation under the Mumbai Metropolitan Region shall be allowed without any restriction.

Charulata (Associate)

Go to Part II.

Go to Part III.

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