New Delhi: Industrial units located in rural areas will be allowed to function from April 20 under fresh government guidelines issued on Wednesday for enforcing the second phase of the coronavirus lockdown, while all kinds of public transport has been barred and opening of public places prohibited till May 3.
Social distancing compulsory
The units in rural areas will be able to operate only if they follow social distancing norms.
Spitting in public punishable offence
Spitting in public has been made a punishable offence and a strict ban enforced on sale of liquor, gutka, tobacco etc. under the new Ministry of Home Affairs guidelines that come a day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the extension of the nationwide lockdown till May 3.
Select necessary activities will be allowed from April 20
The lockdown was first announced by Modi on March 24 for 21 days in a bid to combat coronavirus. The prime minister on Tuesday also declared that select necessary activities will be allowed to be opened up from April 20 in identified areas of the country.
Mask/face cover compulsory
Wearing of mask/face cover in public places has been made compulsory across the country and all work places shall have adequate arrangements for temperature screening and provide sanitizers at convenient places.
Self-employed services to be allowed from April 20
Services provided by self-employed electrician, IT repairs, plumbers, motor mechanics, carpenters to be allowed from April 20, giving relief to people looking for such facilities.
Inter-state/district movement prohibited
While inter-state, inter-district movement of people, metro, bus services will be prohibited till May 3, the government allowed functioning of industrial units located in rural areas from April 20 by observing strict social distancing norms.
Educational/travel services remain suspended
Educational institutions, coaching centres, domestic, international air travel, train services will also remain suspended till this time, it said.
Public places remain shut
Public places like cinema halls, malls, shopping complexes, gymnasiums, sports complexes, swimming pools, bars will also be shut till May 3.
Places of worship remain closed
All social, political, sports, religious functions, religious places, places of worship shall be closed for public till May 3, it said.
Highway ‘dhaba’ (eateries), truck repairing shops, call centres for govt activities to remain open from April 20.
Shops of agriculture machinery, its spare parts, its supply chain, repairs, ‘Custom Hiring Centres, related to farm machinery to remain open from April 20.
From April 20 activities permitted include agricultural, horticultural activities, farmers and farm workers in field, procurement of agri products, ‘Mandis’.
Manufacturing units of drugs, pharmaceuticals, medical devices, construction of medical infrastructure including manufacture of ambulances to remain open from April 20.
Grocery stores, fruits, vegetables shops/ carts, milk booths, poultry, meat and fish shop to remain open during lockdown.
Exemptions not applicable in Covid-19 hotspots
However, the exemptions given from April 20 will not be applicable in COVID-19 hotspots/ containment zones and the State/UT governments shall not dilute guidelines in any manner but may impose stricter measures as per local requirements.
Industries operating in rural areas to be permitted to run from April 20 with strict social distancing norms.
Manufacturing, industrial units with access control in SEZs, Export Oriented Units, industrial estates, industrial townships to be allowed to function from April 20.
The home ministry said permitted industries must make arrangements for stay of workers within their premises or adjacent buildings by observing social distancing norms.
The home ministry said defence, paramilitary, health and family welfare, disaster management, NIC, FCI, NCC, Nehru Yuva Kendra and Customs offices will function without any restriction.
Other ministries and departments are to function with “100 per cent attendance” with deputy secretary and above rank officers.
“Remaining officers and staff to attend up to 33 per cent as per requirement,” it said.
The guidelines said in order to mitigate hardship to the public, select additional activities will be allowed from April 20.
“However, these additional activities will be operationalised by states and UTs and district administrators based on strict compliance to existing guidelines on lockdown measures,” it said.
The permitted activities from April 20 are aimed at ensuring agricultural and related activities remain fully functional, rural economy functions with maximum efficiency, employment opportunities are created for daily wage earners and other members of labour force, select industrial activities are allowed to resume their operations, with safeguards and mandatory standard operating protocols and digital economy.
The revised guidelines will not apply in containment zones, as demarcated by States/ UTs/ district administrations.
If any new area is included in the category of a containment zone, the activities allowed in that area till the time of its categorization as a containment zone, will be suspended except those specifically permitted under guidelines of Ministry of Health.
Containment zones will be demarcated by States/ UTs/ district administrations, as per guidelines of MoHF&W.
In these zones, no unchecked inward/outward movement of population would be allowed, except for essential services.
The government said digital economy is critical to services sector and accordingly, e-commerce operations, operations of IT and IT enabled services, data and call centres for Government activities, and online teaching and distance learning are all permitted.