News Desk: On Monday, June 29, 2020, the Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) issued new guidelines that will be followed in Unlock 2, which will come into effect from July 1, 2020, to July 30, 2020.
The National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), in exercise of power under section 6(2)(i) of the Disaster Management Act, 2005, has issued an order to open more activities in areas outside Containment zones.
However, the lockdown in Containment zones has been extended to July 31, 2020.
The MHA has issued detailed Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) based on feedback received from States and UTs and extensive consultations held with Central Ministries and Departments.
Some of the major features of guidelines for Unlock 2 are:
- Domestic flights and passenger trains have already been allowed in a limited manner. Their operations will be further expanded in a calibrated manner. International air travel of passengers has been permitted in a limited manner as permitted by MHA.
- Training institutions of the Central and State governments will be allowed to function from July 15. SOP in this regard will be issued by the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT).
However, schools, colleges, private educational and coaching institutions will remain closed till July 31. Online/ distance learning will be permitted to continue.
- Night curfew timing has been further relaxed throughout the country and will be in force from 10 P.M to 5 A.M. However, essential activities like operation of industrial units in multiple shifts, movement of person and goods on National and State Highways, loading and unloading of cargos and travel of person to their destinations after getting off from airplanes, trains and buses will be excused from the Night curfew.
- Metro Rail services will remain closed.
- Cinema halls, swimming pools, gymnasiums, entertainment parks, theatres, bars, assembly halls, auditoriums, and similar places will remain closed.
- Social/ political/ sports/ entertainment/ academic/ cultural/ religious functions and other large congregations are strictly prohibited.
- Lockdown shall continue to be implemented strictly in the Containment Zones till 31 July 2020. Containment Zones are required to be carefully demarcated by the State/ UT Governments with a view to containing the spread of COVID-19, after taking into consideration the guidelines issued by the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare (MOHFW). 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 MOHFW.
- Activities in the Containment Zones shall be monitored strictly by the State/UT authorities, and the guidelines relating to containment measures in these zones shall be strictly implemented.
- MOHFW will monitor the proper delineation of Containment Zones and the implementation of the containment measures.
- National Directives for COVID-19 management shall continue to be followed throughout the country, with a view to ensuring social distancing. Shops will need to maintain adequate physical distancing among customers. MHA will monitor the effective implementation of National Directives.
- Vulnerable persons, i.e., persons above 65 years of age, persons 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.
States to decide on activities outside Containment Zones
- States and UTs, based on their assessment of the situation, may prohibit certain activities outside the Containment zones, or impose such restrictions as deemed necessary.
- There shall be no restriction on inter-State and intra-State movement of persons and goods. No separate permission/ approval/ e-permit will be required for such movements.
Use Of Aarogya Setu
- Aarogya Setu app enables early identification of potential risk of infection, thus acting as a shield for individuals and communities.
- Thus, the use of the Aarogya Setu mobile app will be encouraged to ensure safety in offices and workplaces.
National Directives for COVID-19 Management:
- Face covering: Wearing of face cover is compulsory in workplaces, public places and during transport
- Social distancing: All individuals must maintain a minimum distance of 6 feet in public places as well as in workplaces.
- Gatherings: Large public gatherings/ congregations will continue to remain prohibited.
- Spitting in public places will be punishable with fine, as prescribed by local authorities in accordance with its laws and regulations.
- Consumption of liquor, paan, gutka, tobacco, etc. in public places is strictly prohibited.
- Staggering of work/ business hours will be followed in offices, workplaces, shops, markets, and industrial & commercial establishments.
- Provision for thermal scanning, hand wash, and sanitizers will be made at all entry and exit points and common areas.
Offenses and Penalties for Violation of Lockdown Measures
- Section 51 to 60 of the Disaster Management Act, 2005
- Punishment for obstruction, etc. without reasonable cause-
- a) obstruction to any Central, State Government employee, or a person authorized by National, State or District Authority
- b) refusal to comply with any direction given by or on behalf of the Central or State Government, the National or State Executive Committee or District Authority
shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to one year or with fine or both.
- Punishment for False Claim.
- Punishment for misappropriation of money or materials, etc
- Punishment for false warning.
- Offenses by Departments of the Government
- Failure of the officer in duty.
- Penalty for contravention of any order regarding requisitioning.
- Offense by companies.
- Previous sanction for prosecution.
- Cognizance of offenses.
- Section 188 in the Indian Penal Code, 1860
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