Covid-19: MHA extends guidelines for re-opening till November 30, most remain unchanged

The latest guidelines also ask people to exercise extreme caution and follow Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Jan Aandolan and to fight the coronavirus pandemic.
A health worker takes a nasal swab sample at a Covid-19 testing center in Hyderabad, India.(AP)
A health worker takes a nasal swab sample at a Covid-19 testing center in Hyderabad, India.(AP)
Updated on Oct 27, 2020 09:36 PM IST
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Hindustan Times, New Delhi | | Edited by Meenakshi Ray

The Union ministry of home affairs (MHA) on Tuesday extended the guidelines for re-opening the country, which were issued last month, till November 30. There are no fresh changes and all major activities have already been allowed but strict lockdown will continue in containment zones, it has said.

The latest guidelines also asked people to exercise extreme caution and follow Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Jan Aandolan launched earlier this month and to fight the coronavirus pandemic.

Here is a look at the re-opening guidelines:

Re-opening of activities outside containment zones

Almost all activities have been gradually opened up in areas outside containment zones since the first order on lockdown measures by the MHA on March 24. While most activities have been permitted, some involving large gatherings have been allowed with some restrictions and subject to the standard operating procedures (SOPs) regarding health and safety precautions being followed. These activities include Metro rail, shopping malls, hotels, restaurants and hospitality services, religious places, yoga and training institutes, gymnasiums, cinemas, entertainment park etc.

State governments and administrations of Union territories have been permitted to make decisions for their re-opening, based on the assessment of the situation and subject to SOPs. These include schools and coaching institutes and state and private universities for research scholars allowing gatherings above the limit of 100 etc.

Activities permitted but with certain restrictions

The MHA said that further decision regarding these activities will be taken based on the assessment of the situation.

International air travel of passengers as permitted by MHA

Swimming pools being used for training of sportspersons

Exhibitions halls for business to business (B2B) purposes

Cinemas, theatres and multiplexes up to 50% of their seating capacity

Social, academic, sports, entertainment, cultural, religious, political functions and other congregations, in closed spaces with a maximum of 50% of the hall capacity and subject to a ceiling of 200 people

Covid-19 appropriate behaviour

The MHA has already advised chief secretaries and administrators of all states and Union territories that they should endeavour to promote Covid-19 appropriate behaviour “extensively at the grass-root level and take measures to enforce the wearing of masks, hand hygiene and social distancing.”

“The essence behind graded re-opening and progressive resumption of activities is to move ahead. However, it does not mean the end of the pandemic. There is a need to exercise abundant caution by adopting COVID-19 appropriate behaviour by every citizen in their daily routine,” the MHA said in its guidelines.

“A ‘Jan Andolan’ was launched by the Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi on 8th October 2020 on COVID-19 appropriate behaviour to follow three mantras, namely: wear your mask properly; wash your hands frequently; and maintain a safe distance of 6 feet,” it added.

Directives for Covid-19 management

The national directives for Covid-19 management, the MHA said, will continue to be followed throughout the country, so as to enforce Covid-19 appropriate behaviour.

Strict enforcement of lockdown in containment zones till November 30

Lockdown shall continue to be implemented strictly in the containment zones till November 30

Containment zones shall be demarcated by district authorities after taking into consideration the guidelines of the Union health ministry with the objective of effectively breaking the chain of transmission. Strict containment measures will be enforced in these containment zones and only essential activities will be allowed.

Within the containment zones, strict perimeter control shall be maintained and only essential activities allowed.

These containment zones will be notified on the websites of the respective District Collectors and by the States/ UTs and information will also be shared with the health ministry.

States will not impose any local lockdown outside containment zones. They will not impose any local lockdown on the state, district, sub-division, city or village level outside the containment zones without prior consultation with the central government.

No restriction on inter- and intra-state movement

There shall be no restriction on inter-state and intra-state movement of persons and goods. There is no separate permission, approval or e-permit need for such movements.

Protection of vulnerable people

Vulnerable people or those above 65 years of age, with co-morbidities, pregnant women, and children below the age of 10 years, are advised to stay at home, except for meeting essential requirements and for health purposes.

Aarogya Setu

The use of Aarogya Setu mobile application will continue to be encouraged, the MHA said.

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Monday, November 29, 2021