A fresh set of coronavirus guidelines were issued by the Union Ministry of Home Affairs on November 25 for better surveillance and containment of COVID-19 as India’s total caseload is inching toward the 10 million mark.
The new guidelines will be effective from December 1, 2020, and will remain in place till December 31.
Under the new set of coronavirus rules, states and union territories will be required to demarcate containment zones at the micro level. These will be in line with Home Minister Amit Shah’s “dynamic containment zones” suggestion.
What will not be allowed inside containment zones?
As per the new MHA guidelines, strict perimeter control will be followed in these areas, which means no movement of people will be allowed in or out of these zones. Exceptions will be made for medical emergencies and supply of essential goods and services.
States and UTs have been authorised to impose local restrictions, including night curfews in these areas. However, for imposing further restrictions or local lockdown outside the containment zones, prior consultation with the central government will be mandatory.
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All activities have been allowed outside of containment zones except a few which have been permitted with restrictions. These are:
International air travel as permitted by the MHA.
Cinema halls and theatres to operate at 50 percent capacity.
Swimming pools to be used only for training sportspersons.
Exhibitions can be arranged only for business to business (B2B) transactions.
Social, educational, sports, entertainment, cultural, and religious gatherings have been allowed at 50 percent of hall-capacity with a 200-person cap on the upper limit in closed spaces. This can be reduced to 100 by the states/ UTs, depending on the COVID-19 situation.
There shall be no restriction on inter-state and intra-state movement of persons and goods including those for cross-border trade.
The Centre has, however, suggested reintroducing staggered work timings to ensure proper social distancing at workplaces in cities where the weekly Case Positivity Rate is more than 10 percent.
The Centre is also planning to regulate the crowd at marketplaces, bazaars, and public transport, and will be issuing separate SOPs for the same soon.