After Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the second phase of lockdown on April 14, he mentioned that there would be a relaxation in the restriction following April 20. He said that guidelines would be set out for relaxation, and it will be implemented based on the condition of India.
Following this, the Central Government came out with a list of economic activities that will be permitted after April 20, in certain areas intending to provide relief to farmers, labourers and daily wage earners along with containing the spread of the virus.
The Home Ministry, on April 15, issued an order delineating a list of activities that will be allowed to operate after April 20, 2020, and those which are obstructed amid the lockdown.
“The activities prohibited across the country include travel by air, rail and road; operation of educational and training institutions; industrial and commercial activities; hospitality services; all cinema halls, shopping complexes, theatres, etc, all social, political and other events, and opening of all religious places/ places of worship for members of public, including religious congregations,” read the order.
However, as Prime Minister announced that some relaxations would be permitted after April 20, based on carefully observing the performance of blocks, districts, states in tackling the coronavirus pandemic in their respective areas, the Home Ministry has issued guidelines regarding approval to certain economic activities from April 20, onwards.
The permitted activities from April 20, are aimed at ensuring that agricultural and related activities remain fully functional, the rural economy functions with the highest efficiency. Employment opportunities are created for daily wage earners and other members of the labour force, and select industrial activities are allowed to resume their operations, with adequate safeguards and mandatory standard operating protocols (SOPs) and the digital economy.
The Government has issued additional guidelines on April 17, allowing a few more activities for non-containment zones post-April 20. The Government’s citizen portal MyGov later shared on social media a list of activities that are authorized and the services which will remain shut as per the new guidelines.
The following economic activities will be allowed as they are critical for the agricultural sector and job creation while strictly adhering to orders in those areas where safety is eminent to contain the spread of COVID-19. State/UTs/district authorities will operationalise these based on compliance with existing guidelines. These will not apply to containment zones separated by respective states and UTs.
Here is a complete list of activities that will be permitted, and that will remain shut post- April 20.
What is permitted amidst lockdown?
- Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and other RBI regulated financial markets and entities.
- Banks, ATM and IT vendors for banking operations
- Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) and capital and debt market services.
- Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDAI) and insurance companies.
- Both electronic and print media
- IT services up to 50 per cent capacity
- Data and call centres for government activities
- Common Service Centres at panchayat level
- E-commerce companies, e-commerce functions for only essential items such as grocery, health care devices, cleaning supplies, sanitizers, etc.(updated at 4.30 PM | 19th April 2020)
- Courier services
- Cold storage and warehousing
- Private security and facilities management services; hotels, homestays, and others.
- Establishment for quarantine facilities
- Self-employed services like electricians, plumbers, carpenters, and others.
Movement of people
- Private vehicles for medical emergency services and for availing essential commodities
- In the case of a four-wheeler, one passenger in the back seat beside the driver is permitted.
- For two-wheelers, only one driver is permitted
- All personnel travelling to their workplace as exempted by State/UT/Local authority.
- Children’s Home, juveniles, divyang (handicapped), elderly, and others, including observation homes and aftercare homes.
- Payment of social security pensions and PF by EPFO
- Operation of Anganwadis
- Farming operations in fields
- Operation of agencies engaged in getting agro products
- Machinery shops, Custom hiring centres
- Services related to fertilizers and seeds
- Agricultural Produce Market Committee (APMC) markets and Mandis
- Direct marketing operations for agriculture
- Harvesting and sowing
- Functioning of fishing like processing and sales; hatcheries, commercial aquaria.
- Plantations of tea, coffee and rubber are allowed with a maximum 50 per cent workers
- Animal husbandry including distribution and sale of milk products, animal shelter homes, etc.
- Functioning of hospitals, nursing homes
- Operation of Telemedicine facilities, medical shops and dispensaries
- Medical research, COVID-19 related labs and collection centres
- Authorized private establishments
- Veterinary hospitals, dispensaries and clinics, sale and supply of vaccine and medicines.
- Operation of manufacturing units, medical devices and construction of health infrastructure.
- Allowed movement of all medical personnel, scientists, nurses, paramedical staff, lab technicians.
- Industries in rural areas, SEZ and export-oriented units
- Industrial estates and industrial townships
- Manufacturing units of essential goods
- Industries producing IT hardware
- Food processing units, jute industries
- Coal and mineral production, O&G refinery and brick kilns in rural areas
- Construction activities including roads, irrigation projects, renewable energy projects and construction projects in municipalities
Cargo and Essential services
- Operation of all cargo (inter & intra State) by air, rail, land and sea routes.
- Operation of all trucks and other goods/carrier vehicles with two drivers and one helper subject to the driver carries a valid driving licence.
- An empty truck/vehicle will be allowed to ply after the delivery of goods, or for pick up of goods.
- The supply chain of essential goods, including manufacturing, wholesale, retail, shops/ carts.
- Large bricks and mortar stores, dhabas and truck repair shops on the highway, movement of staff and contractual labourers for the operation of essential services including railways, airports/air carriers, seaports/ships/vessels, land ports, and ICDs is allowed
- Collection, harvesting and processing of Minor Forest Produce (MPF), non-timber forest produce (NTFPs)also known as non-wood forest products (NWFPs) by Scheduled Tribes (ST) and forest dwellers.
- Bamboo, coconut, areca nut, cocoa, spices plantations and their harvesting sale and marketing.
- Non-bank financial institution’s (NBFCs) including Housing Finance and Micro Finance Companies with bare minimum staff, Cooperative Credit Societies
- Construction activities in rural areas to include water supply and sanitation, power, telecom and cable lines.
What will remain closed?
- Domestic and international air travel
- Passenger trains, buses, metro, taxis
- Inter-state transport except for security and medical purposes
- Industrial and commercial activities
- Hospitality services
- Educational, training and coaching institutions etc.
- Cinema halls, malls, gyms, bars, pools, entertainment parks, assembly halls, etc.
- All social, political, entertainment, sports, complexes, religious places and other gatherings.
What is a hotspot?
Hotspots are areas of large COVlD-19 outbreaks or clusters with a significant spread of COVlD-19. The State, UT and district administrations are to decide the hotspots across the country.
What will operate in hotspots?
This will be determined based on the guidelines issued by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW), Government of India (Gol). The exemptions given after April 20 will not apply to hotspots. Furthermore, the State/UT/Local authority will have to demarcate the containment zones in hotspots.
Strict boundary control has to be put in place to ensure no unchecked inward, outward movement is carried out except for essential services including medical and law enforcement services permitted in these zones.
The areas where limited movement is permitted will face similar measures in case if a COVID-19 positive case is reported.
The Government had also issued detailed guidelines and preventive measures that need to be followed by workplaces and manufacturing industries including compulsion of wearing facemasks, avoid overcrowing of elevators, disinfecting the premises at regular interviews and mandatory thermal screening of workers at large establishments.
The penalty for the violation for lockdown is based on the Disaster Management Act of 2005. Any person found violating the lockdown rules will be charged under the provisions of Section 51 to 60 of the Disaster Management Act, 2005, besides legal action under Sec. 188 of the IPC, and other legal provisions as applicable.