With the Centre extending the lockdown for another two weeks after May 3, a few guidelines have been issued to relax the lockdown in certain areas.
Essential services and a few other activities have been permitted during the third phase of the lockdown. Here are clarifications for a few doubts and questions that have been in people’s minds regarding the extended lockdown.
Is a person allowed to travel for non-essential activities within the city?
An order issued by the government on Friday states that movement of people for non-essential activities is strictly prohibited between 7 pm and 7 am. This implies that people are allowed to travel between 7 am and 7 pm.
Technically, based on interpretation of the above statement, this would allow activities like going for a walk/run and taking pets out between 7 am and 7 pm.
Can I visit another friend or relative’s place?
The same rule mentioned above applies for this scenario too. People can visit other people’s places between the allowed time. However, this would also depend on whether the friend or relative’s place is under quarantine, and on the guidelines issued specifically for a certain area or city.
Related news | Nationwide COVID-19 lockdown extended by two weeks: MHA
Is my domestic help allowed to come to work between 7 am and 7 pm?
Based on the interpretation of the government order, yes, domestic helps can travel between 7 am and 7 pm to show up for work.
Can private vehicles be used after May 4 for travel?
The government order noted that the movement of vehicles is allowed only for permitted activities.
In red zones, a maximum of two passengers besides the driver is allowed in four-wheelers. Pillion riding on two-wheelers is prohibited.
In orange zones, two passengers besides the driver will be allowed in four-wheeler vehicles, and pillion riding is permitted.
Will public transport be available?
Inter- and intra-district bus facilities will not be available in red and orange zones.
Buses can operate with 50% seating capacity in green zones. Cycle rickshaws and auto rickshaws are not allowed in red zones. Metro train services have been banned across the country.
Will Ola and Uber be available after May 4?
App-based cab aggregators like Ola and Uber are not allowed to function in red zones.
Taxis will be allowed with one passenger besides the driver in four-wheeler vehicles in orange zones.
Will liquor shops open after May 4?
Yes, liquor shops will open after May 4 across all three zones — red, orange, and green. However, only standalone liquor shops are allowed to run. Liquor shops in malls will remain closed.
Only five people will be allowed at a time, and those who gather at liquor shops must ensure six-feet distance between each other. Consumption of liquor, paan, gudka, and tobacco in public places is prohibited.
Will malls, restaurants, gyms be open after May 4?
No. Malls, dine-in restaurants, gyms, theatres, bars, and swimming pools across the country will remain shut irrespective of the zone.
Will salons and barber shops be open?
Salons, barber shops, and spas will not be open in red zones. This could be interpreted that these shops could be opened in orange and green zones.
Which are the shops that will be open?
All malls and market complexes within the city will remain shut. However, those selling essential items can be opened.
All standalone shops (including those in residential complexes) selling essential and non-essential items can function, but social distancing must be ensured.
Will I be able to shop online?
The government order said online shopping only for essential items would be allowed. However, essential as well as non-essential items can be ordered online in orange and green zones.
Can I go work at office?
All private offices can operate with 33% of the their total staff strength in red, orange, and green zones.
Government offices will function with officers of the level of deputy secretary and people from higher positions. The remaining staff can operate with the 33% strength.
However, these restrictions will not apply to defence and security services, fire and emergency services, and customs and municipal services, among others.
Is construction work allowed in cities?
Construction activities in urban areas which are classified as red zones are restricted to places where workers are available on site (where no workers have to be brought in from other places), and to renewable energy projects.
However, the guidelines do not mention whether construction activities are permitted in orange and green zones.
Can industrial activities take place within city limits after May 4?
In red zones, industrial activities in urban areas are restricted to Special Economic Zones (SEZs), Export Oriented Units, manufacturing units of essential goods and pharmaceuticals, and many more.
It also includes manufacturing of IT hardware and jute industries are allowed to function with proper precautions like social distancing and staggered shifts.
However, the guidelines issued by the government do not mention any restrictions for the orange and green zones.