The rapid spread of Covid-19 in the State of Maharashtra has forced the State Government to impose stricter restrictions. On 4th April 2021, the State Government announced a number of restrictions to control the spike in cases. The State reported 57,074 fresh cases on 4th April, 2021 which was the highest one-day rise since the coronavirus pandemic began last year. The Government was left with no choice but to impose stricter restrictions in order to break the chain of transmission. According to the Government Order, there will be strict lockdown rules in the State upto 30th April 2021. The key rules/ guidelines for the lockdown are as follows:
- Section 144 to be implemented in the whole State of Maharashtra between 7.00 AM to 8.00 PM i.e., no more than 5 people will be allowed to gather in one place.
- A strict night curfew will be followed on weekdays between 8.00 PM to 7.00 AM. No one will be allowed outside without a valid reason. Medical staff and essential services are exempted, and their movement and operations will remain unrestricted.
- A lockdown during the entire weekend will be followed i.e., from Friday 8.00 PM to Monday 7.00 AM.
- Housing societies with more than 5 positive cases will be sealed for entry and exit, except for covid testing, medical emergencies and exams. Police personnel will be stationed outside every sealed building.
- Flats with positive cases will be sealed by the building. Deliveries will be dropped at the society office.
- Schools and Colleges will remain closed except during the 10th and 12th Board Examinations. Students appearing for the exam can travel during the night curfew and on the weekends with a valid hall ticket accompanied by a guardian/ parent.
- According to the amended guidelines published on 5th April 2021, maids, cooks, drivers, nurses and medical attendees providing services to senior citizens and ailing people at home are allowed movement between 7:00 AM to 10:00 PM on all days.
- Public and Private transport facilities can continue to function.
- Auto-rickshaws are allowed only with 2 passengers plus the driver and taxis/cars will operate at 50% capacity.
- Standing in buses will not be permitted. Only sitting passengers will be allowed.
- All persons travelling in public transport have to compulsorily wear a mask in a proper manner otherwise a fine of INR 500/- will be imposed on the offenders.
- People will be allowed to return home or go to the airport, bus stop, railway station after 8.00 PM, during the night curfew and on weekends by carrying valid tickets for the travel.
Official and Professional Restrictions
- Private offices should work entirely from home.
- Manufacturing units and sectors will be allowed to function with Covid-19 guidelines and precautions.
- Banks, stock market, insurance, pharmaceuticals, telecom, electricity, water services, agriculture and transportation of commodities will be allowed to function as per Covid-19 guidelines.
- Non-covid Government staff and officers will be allowed to operate at 50% capacity.
- As per the revised guidelines which were notified on 7th April 2021, e-commerce deliveries will be allowed to operate 24 hours. All delivery agents must be vaccinated as soon as possible.
- Eye clinics and optician shops will be allowed to remain open within the time issued by the Government.
- Film shootings can continue but no crowding should take place. RT-PCR test certificates are mandatory.
- Daily wage workers should be given paid leave if they test positive for Covid-19 and should not be dismissed.
Religious and Recreational Restrictions
- All places of worship will remain shut.
- All shops, markets, malls, salons and spas will remain closed till 30th April 2021. Groceries, medicines, and vegetable shops will remain open.
- All shop owners that are closed for now, are advised to get all persons working with them vaccinated.
- Cinemas, multiplexes, theatres, swimming pools, sports academies and auditoriums will be completely closed.
- Public places such as parks and beaches will remain closed from 8.00 PM to 7.00 AM on weekdays and will be completely closed during the weekend.
- Restaurants and bars will remain completely closed. Takeaways will be allowed from 7.00 AM to 8.00 PM. During the weekends, in-person takeaway will also remain closed, but deliveries will be allowed. Restaurants, as part of hotels, can serve guests who are staying at the hotel and not to outsiders.
- Street food businesses will be allowed for takeaway between 7.00 AM to 8.00 PM including weekends.
The State of Maharashtra accounts for around 60% of the total reported Covid-19 cases across the country. The decision of imposing stricter restrictions came after Maharashtra Chief Minister, Mr. Uddhav Thackeray led a cabinet meeting to discuss the situation of the State. According to the Centre, 8 of the top 10 worst-affected districts by Covid-19 in India are from Maharashtra.
The State of Maharashtra has reported 51,751 new Covid-19 cases, 52,312 recoveries and 258 deaths in the last 24 hours.
The rising number of cases in the State can only be controlled by imposing stricter restrictions to break the chain and reduce the rate of transmission, hence, the Government of Maharashtra has issued a new set of “break the chain of transmission” directions on 13th April 2021 which will come into effect from 8.00 PM on 14th April 2021 till 7.00 AM on 1st May 2021. We will be covering these directions in detail in our next post.
–Charulata, Associate with assistance from Ms. Aradhana Pillai, Intern