Covid-19: These are new lockdown relaxation rules in your state
States across India will on Monday partially lift curbs put in place during the lockdown to break the chain of coronavirus infections to get their sagging economies back in shape.
Everything barring essential services has been shut from March 25, when a nationwide lockdown was clamped to arrest the spread of Covid-19.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced on April 14 that the national lockdown will be extended till May 3 but said some of the curbs would be lifted in places outside “containment zones” and in areas where the potential of the pathogen spreading was low, to revive economic activity.
The Union home ministry issued an order a day after PM Modi’s address to lay down guidelines for the conditional lifting of some restrictions in areas with few or no infections, orange and green zones, respectively.
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It had, in its guidelines issued on April 15, allowed factories in special economic zones (SEZs) and export oriented units (EoUs), industrial estates and townships, apart from industries in rural areas, to open from April 20.
Here’s what state governments say on the lockdown rules:
Maharashtra, which has the highest number of Covid-19 cases for any state in India, allowed industries to resume work in 20 of its 36 districts, which either don’t have any coronavirus disease cases or have very few cases.
“We are allowing industrial operations in a limited capacity from Monday where the employers are ready to bear the responsibilities of the stay, food and transportation of the employees,” chief minister Uddhav Thackeray said on Sunday.
Industries in rural areas have also been allowed. Maharashtra has 1.026 million registered micro, small and medium enterprises, or MSMEs, of which around 450,000 are in areas where operations are being allowed from Monday.
The Maharashtra government had on Friday issued guidelines for limited relaxation of restrictions from April 20 to May 3. These guidelines said farm-sector activities along with truck repair garages and eateries (dhabas) along highways will be exempted from the lockdown.
The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), Mumbai’s civic body, has also issued a fresh set of directives and said it will allow from Monday certain public works during the lockdown.
The civic body has said construction activities of public projects, construction, resurfacing, repairs, pothole filling of roads and bridges, works of laying and repairs of water supply, sewer and stormwater drain lines, construction repairs and pre-monsoon desilting of stormwater drains networks, and construction of health infrastructure facilities will be allowed to operate subject to observance of Covid-19 safety guidelines.
These containment zones have been sealed and no one is allowed to either enter or exit. Police and local administration are facilitating doorstep delivery of essential items to the residents in these areas.
The Covid-19 hotspots in different parts of Uttar Pradesh, which have been sealed, will remain under complete lockdown and no movement of residents will be allowed. Agra, Lucknow, Noida, Ghaziabad, Kanpur, Varanasi are among the 19 districts that have reported more than 10 coronavirus disease cases.
The final decision on relaxation in these districts will be taken by the district magistrates.
The decision of resuming operation in select factories and industries will also be taken by the district magistrates keeping in mind the advisories issued by the Centre in the view of the lockdown in districts that are Covid-19 free or have reported less than 10 cases.
The collection of toll tax will also begin from midnight on April 20.
In separate orders issued on Sunday, the Lucknow and Gautam Buddha Nagar district administrations said there will no relaxations on restrictions in these districts till May 3.
The public works department (PWD) has been allowed to resume construction activities in the state while abiding by safety precautions.
Chief minister Amarinder Singh-led government said on Sunday it will not allow any relaxation in the coronavirus lockdown rules in the state until it ends on May 3.
In a series of tweets on Sunday, Amarinder Singh said a curfew will remain in force across the state till May 3. Apart from essential services, only farmers involved in wheat procurement and those concerned with farming activities have been exempted from these restrictions.
The state has classified its districts into red, orange (A & B), and green zones.
Out of Kerala’s 14 districts, four—north Kerala’s Kasaragod, Kannur, Kozhikode and Malappuram—are in the red zone with the most of the infections.
Eight, including state capital Thiruvananthapuram, are in the orange zone with few cases and two are in the green zone with no cases. The relaxations will be applicable to the orange and green zones only, said state authorities.
Red zones continue to remain under lockdown owing to their identification as high-risk areas, limited restrictions have been relaxed in orange-A and orange-B zones. Public transport such as auto-rickshaws will be allowed to operate locally while abiding by certain rules in green areas.
The Kerala government will also implement the odd and even scheme in the state from April 20 to allow movement of traffic.
“By implementing the scheme, we can reduce the number of vehicles on the road by 40%. Three persons can travel in a car, including the driver. Relaxation will be given to women-driven vehicles and government vehicles,” Kerala police had said on Saturday.
Hotels and restaurants will also open in 10 districts of Kerala on Monday. The government has also allowed farming, food processing units, construction, road construction and traditional sectors like handloom, coir and beedi to work, without crowding.
Chief minister K Chandrashekhar Rao has declared his government’s decision to extend the ongoing statewide lockdown till May 7, three days more than the Centre’s instructions.
The Karnataka government has extended the statewide lockdown till midnight of April 21. A cabinet meeting is scheduled to take place on Monday and the government is expected to make a final decision on the extension of the lockdown till May 3.
A senior official said the state government will also take note of the Centre’s decision to permit limited activities with the intention of mitigating hardship faced by certain sections of society.
The Haryana government has devised a system to allow selected industries to function between April 20 and May 3. A few industries that do not fall into red zones will be allowed to resume operations.
Passes of three different colours will be issued to concerned persons—green ‘ordinary’ pass will be issued to select industries and business organisations, red passes will be issued to essential workers and blue passes to construction workers.
Farmers, who will receive a text message from the state government, will be allowed to transport their produce to mandis.
Committees have been constituted at block, town and city levels to accept applications in this regard and issue approvals.
While shops and eateries along highways have also been added in the list of exemptions, these will be closely monitored by the state government.
Deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi said on Sunday work on close to 40,000 projects in the state will begin in more than 8000 of the state’s panchayats from April 20. The state government aims to employ over five lakh labourers for the pending projects.
For government offices in the state, employees have been divided into Group A, B and C. Those in Groups A and B will have to be present in the office on working days, 33% of employees in Group C, including contractual worker, will have to report to their respective offices.
Chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan said on Sunday that activities related to construction, agriculture, road repairs, and labour-related work that falls under the MGNREGA will be allowed to resume from Monday.
However, Singh said that no exceptions will be made in Indore, Bhopal, Ujjain and other cities that have reported large numbers of Covid-19 cases.
Himachal Pradesh director general of Police (DGP) Sita Ram Mardi has said no interstate or inter-district movement will be allowed even after April 20.
Chief minister Bhupesh Baghel has said that limited economic activities will resume in the state from April 20 onwards. These include labour-work under MNREGA among others.
(With agency inputs)