COVID-19: Lockdown 5.0, Centre Issues New Guidelines

There is an extension to the nationwide lockdown till June 30. The Centre issued new guidelines for re-opening of all activities in phases outside containment zones. The guidelines will come into effect from June 1 and will be effective till June 30. Notably, the guidelines stated that “the current phase of re-opening, Unlock 1, will have an economic focus.”

All activities that were prohibited earlier will open up in areas outside Containment Zones in a phased manner, with the Health Ministry prescribing the stipulation of following Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs):

Phase I

Religious places and places of worship for the public; hotels, restaurants and other hospitality services; and shopping malls; are permitted to open from June 8, 2020. Health Ministry will issue guidelines for the above activities, in consultation with the Central Ministries/ Departments.

Phase II

Schools, colleges, educational/ training/ coaching institutions etc., to open after consultations with States and Union Territories.

Phase III

After assessing the situation, the government will decide the dates for re-starting the following activities.

  • Firstly, international air travel of passengers, except those Ministry of Home Affairs permitted
  • Secondly, Metro Rail
  • Thirdly, cinema halls, gymnasium, swimming pools, entertainment parks, theatres, bars and auditoriums, assembly halls and similar places.
  • Fourthly, social/political/sports/entertainment/academic/ cultural/ religious functions and other large congregations

Night curfew

There is a change in Night curfew timings. They stand changed to 9 pm-5 am from the existing 7 pm-7 am. The movement of individuals shall remain strictly prohibited between this period all over the country except for essential activities. Local authorities are to issue orders, in the entire area of their jurisdiction, under a provision of law, such as under Section 144 of Criminal Procedural Code. The district authorities are to demarcate containment zones after taking into consideration the guidelines issued by Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

Unrestricted Movement Of Persons And Goods

There shall be no restriction on inter-state and intra-state of persons and goods. No separate permission/approval/e-permit is required for such movements.

Protection Of Vulnerable Persons

The Guidelines advise persons above 65 years of age, or those with co-morbidities, pregnant women and children below the age of 10 years to stay at home, except for essential and health purposes.

Other Guidelines

The guidelines issued also contained national directives for COVID-19 management such as wearing face coverings, social distancing, rules regarding gatherings, etc. Additionally, it included the offences and penalties for violation of lockdown measures and stated Section 51 to 60 of Disaster Management Act, 2005 and Section 188 of Indian Penal Code, 1860.

Across the country, the number of COVID-19 cases has crossed 1.74 lakh and there have been close to 5,000 deaths.

About the Author

Ishan Harlalka
I am a 3rd year law aspirant pursuing BA LLB. I am deeply interested in learning and am always looking forward to gain knowledge about new subjects. In my leisure time, I try to read books of various genres and by different authors. As people from non-law background may find it difficult to understand legal provisions and jargons, I try to write in a way that my articles are easy to comprehend and after reading them, one can discuss them with others.

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