Amidst a surge in Covid cases in many states and union territories across the country, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) released a new set of rules for “surveillance, containment, and caution” to prevent the spread of infection.
The guidelines will be implemented from today and are set to remain in force till the end of the month. On the basis of their assessment of the situation on the ground, states and UTs have been allowed to impose local restrictions such as night curfew, however, lockdown can’t be enforced without prior consultation with the central government.
With the implementation of fresh guidelines, the Centre has now given states the elbow room to impose any kind of instruction they consider apt. The MHA has reiterated that states cannot seal borders.
The ministry also said that local police and municipal corporations are responsible for ensuring that the guidelines are strictly followed.
Here’s what’s allowed and what isn’t – All activities have been permitted outside Containment Zones, except for the following, which have been permitted with certain restrictions:
- International air travel of passengers, as permitted by MHA
- Cinema halls and theatres, with up to 50 percent capacity
- Swimming pools, only for the training of sportspersons
- Exhibition halls, only for business to business (B2B) purposes.
- Social/ religious/ sports/ entertainment/ educational/ cultural/ religious gatherings, with up to a maximum of 50 percent of the hall capacity, with a ceiling of 200 persons in closed spaces; and keeping of the size of the ground/ space in the view, in open spaces.
- States and UTs, based on their assessment of the situation, may impose local restrictions, with a view to containing the spread of Covid-19 such as night curfew.
- However, they shall not impose any local lockdown outside the containment zones, without prior consultation with the Centre.
- States and UTs also need to enforce social distancing in offices. In cities, where the weekly Case Positivity Rate is more than 10%, States and UTs concerned shall consider implementing staggered office timings.
No restriction on inter-state, intra-state movement
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.
Maharashtra new travel guidelines
The Maharashtra government on November 23 announced new travel rules for the state, under which those coming from Delhi-NCR, Rajasthan, Gujarat, and Goa will need to carry RT-PCR test reports for Covid-19. The rules come into effect from November 25.
For those flying in, the RT-PCR sample collection should have been done within 72 hours of the scheduled time of landing at airports in Maharashtra, a government order said.
Also, train commuters will also have to produce COVID certificates, and the collection of RT-PCR samples should have been done within 96 hours before the scheduled arrival in Maharashtra.
Covid-19 appropriate behavior
State/UT governments shall take all necessary measures to promote Covid-19 appropriate behavior and to ensure strict enforcement of wearing of face masks, hand hygiene, and social distancing.
In order to enforce the core requirement of wearing face masks, States and UTs may consider administrative actions, including the imposition of appropriate fines on persons not wearing face masks in public and workspaces.
For observance of social distancing in crowded places, especially in markets, weekly bazaars, and public transport, MoHFW will issue SOPs, which shall be strictly enforced by States and UTs.
National directives for Covid-19 management shall continue to be followed throughout the country, so as to enforce Covid-19 appropriate behavior.