Representational image. (AFP)
Representational image. (AFP)

Covid-19: All you need to know about Maharashtra’s latest curbs

Since the order was issued by the state government on Tuesday evening, there was some confusion leading to chaos in some parts of the state on Wednesday
PUBLISHED ON APR 15, 2021 01:01 PM IST

In a bid to clear any confusion regarding the rules of curfew and other restrictions in the state due to the surge in Covid-19, the Maharashtra government on Thursday issued a list of frequently asked questions. To control the spread of coronavirus disease (Covid-19) and to break the chain of transmission, the Maharashtra government announced the imposition of Section 144 across the state from 8pm on April 14 till 7am on May 1.

However, since the order was issued by the state government on Tuesday evening, there was some confusion leading to chaos in some parts of the state on Wednesday. Here’s all you need to know about Maharashtra’s curfew and other restrictions:

Can maids, drivers, cooks come to work and can they travel by local trains/ buses?

The state has allowed local disaster management authorities to take a decision on this.

Can people shift homes and use the services of movers and packers?

No. However, if there is a genuine reason to do so, the local disaster management authority may grant permission.

Is travel within Maharashtra by private vehicle allowed?

Not without the valid reasons mentioned in the order. One may take public transport-- tickets are enough to move to and fro between stops/ stations of public transport vehicles and one’s residence.

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Will wine shops and cigarette shops be open?

No. No shop is to open unless it is in the essential category.

Will people be allowed to walk/jog cycle in the morning?

No.

Will construction material stores like steel, cement, ready-mix be open?

If a construction site is open as per orders, material movement is allowed in and out. Orders may be placed online/ telephonically and deliveries may be made to the location. But no shutters to be open for any material shop to conduct business over the counter.

Will courier services be available?

Only for essential services.

Can NGOs conducting relief work for people and animals function?

Not without the consent of the local disaster management authority.

Will textile/ garment factories be allowed to stay open?

No.

Will Maharashtra University MBBS exams continue as scheduled from April 19?

Conduct of all exams shall be decided by the department concerned and will be separately notified. This order means that if an exam is being conducted, hall ticket is the document to prove the movement of a student and an accompanying adult to be a valid reason during these restrictions.

What qualifies as essential e-commerce?

All goods and services that qualify under the essential services mentioned in the order. For example, all items that are needed for health or medical reasons, groceries, food items, etc.

Can plumbers/ carpenters/ electricians work? Cleaning, disinfection, pest control? Refrigerators, AC, and other home appliances repair technicians?

If it is unavoidable.

Similarly cleaning, disinfection, pest control, as well residential or home appliance repairs may be considered as essential. But it should be done if needed immediately.

Will dental clinics function as essentials?

Yes

Will stationary, book shops be open?

No

Will travel agencies be open? Travel, visa, passport assistance be open?

Travel agencies will not be open physically but they will continue to operate over the internet. As far as visa/ passport assistance is concerned, the state has allowed single window systems -like those of CSC-SPV in villages, Setu in collector offices. Visa/ Passport services that are being run by government office’s authorised agencies will be considered a part of government offices and thus can operate on working days.

Are ancillary industries supplying to essential manufacturers/ services allowed to operate?

In principle, essential for essential is essential. If there is any confusion, the industry department’s decision shall be final.

Are only those workmen / employees staying at walkable distance or same locality near a factory allowed to work or can workmen from other municipalities or panchayats of Maharashtra can report to work. ( eg. workmen staying in Kalyan going to work in Thane)

In the case of industries producing essentials as per the government order dated April 13, the workforce can travel. In case of other industries, only those who provide accommodation to their labour either inside the campus of the facility or at an isolated facility from where travel to and fro to the facility happens in an isolated bubble can function.

Will general public be allowed to use local trains? What constitutes valid reasons?

Yes, if they have a valid reason. Valid reasons are enumerated in the Section (2) of the order.

Will essential services be allowed only between 7am and 8pm?

They are allowed throughout the day --24/7. If these services are being provided by establishments that have been given timings of operation by local authority under some other act (like timings for restaurants in regular days), their operations may be allowed between those times. But there is no restriction under the disaster management act.

Can private vehicles ply during the day time to work/office? What constitutes ‘valid reasons’?

If their offices/ works are allowed to operate in the order--essential as per Section (2) or exemption as per Section (5)-- their employees can travel by private cars and it constitutes a valid reason.

What about long-distance trains?

These are essential services and will be operational.

Will the working of petroleum supplies locations/ aviation stations/ LPG bottling plants in all three shifts be covered under essential services?

Yes.

For delivery of essential goods to stores, is the rapid antigen test still required?

No.

Can delivery of essential items like food be done post 8pm - either by restaurants themselves or through e-commerce sites?

There is no restriction for essential services and home delivery timings as per the order dated April 13. Times of operations for establishments is decided by local authorities. Home delivery is correspondingly within these times.Thus if regular operations timings are beyond 8pm, home delivery is permitted beyond 8pm. Local authorities may, if so desired. vary these operations’ timings.

What about roadside eatable vendors?

Both parcels and home deliveries (though home delivery from them is very rare) are allowed from roadside vendors between 7am and 8pm.

Is working of petroleum supplies locations/ aviation stations/ LPG bottling plants in all three shifts covered under 25 essential services?

Yes.

For very large housing society, will the entire society be a micro containment zone?

If there are more than five cases on a campus, it will be declared a micro containment zone. If a society is very large, the local authority will decide whether all the cases are in a limited area that can be practically isolated (no porous boundary) and then declare that as micro containment zone.

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