Pandemic Legal Intelligence – Lockdown 4.0 – MHA Notifies
Extension of Lockdown
1. What is the new extension period towards lockdown?
Answer: The Ministry of Home Affairs vide order no. 40-3/2020-DM-I(A) dated 17.05.2020 has issued guidelines on the measures taken by Central Ministries/ Departments of India, State/ UT governments & authorities for containment of COVID- 19 in the country for the extension of lockdown.
The fourth extended period is from 18th May till 31st May, 2020.
2. What are the activities which will continue to remain prohibited thorughout the country in lockdown phase 4.0?
Answer: The prohibited activities as stipulated in Sr. no. 2 of the guidelines are as below:
Activities like travel by air, rail, metro; running of schools, colleges, and other educational and training/ coaching institutions; hospitality services, including hotels and restaurants; places of large public gatherings, such as cinema halls, malls, gymnasiums, sports complexes etc; social, political, cultural and other kinds of gatherings; and, religious places/ places of worship for public.
Ceased to Exist
3. Whether orders issued by Ministry of Home Affairs prior to present guidelines will ceased to exist?
Answer: Yes guidelines issued by Ministry of Home Affairs vide no. 40-3/2020-DM-I(A) dated 17.05.2020 to Chief Secretary of all states has specifically mentioned that present guidelines is issued in supersession of earlier lockdown orders, except the Standing Operating Procedures (SOPs) relating to the movement of the persons.
To be brief, guidelines issued by Ministry of Home Affairs earlier on extension of lockdown will ceased to exist in view of this new guidelines except SOPs which were issued on movement of people.
4. What are the activities permitted with restrictions? Whether these activities are also allowed in containment zones?
Answer: Sr no 3 of the guidelines provides for the activities which shall be permitted during lockdown phase 4.0 are as follows;
i) Inter-state movement of passenger vehicles and buses with the mutual consent of the States/ UTs.
ii) Intra-state movement of passenger vehicles and buses as decided by the States/ UTs.
iii) Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for the movement of persons as mentioned in Annexure I of guidelines shall continue to operate.
In Containment Zones only essential services will be permitted.
5. What is Buffer Zone?
Answer: In addition to Red, Orange, Green and Containment Zone, guidelines also provides for Buffer Zone;
Buffer Zone is defined as primarily area wherein additional attention and focus is needed, so as to ensure that infection shall not spread to adjoining areas.
However the buffer zone would be appropriately defined by the district administration and local bodies with their technical inputs at local level.
Action Plan – Buffer Zones
6. What are the focus areas of actions in Buffer Zones?
Answers: Action plan for the Buffer Zones are as follows:
i) Extensive surveillance of cases through monitoring ILI/SARI cases in health facilities
ii) Identification of health facilities and health work force available.
iii) All health facilities shall report clinically suspect cases of COVID-19 on real time basis to the control room at district level.
iv) To create community awareness on preventive measures such as personal hygiene, hand hygiene and respiratory etiquettes
v) Use of face cover, physical distancing through enhanced IEC activities and ensuring social distancing.
7. How Containment Zones shall be treated in lockdown 4.0?
Answer: In Containment Zones only essential activities shall be permitted.
There shall be strict perimeter control to ensure that there is no movement of people in or out of these zones, except for medical emergencies and for maintaining supply essential goods & services.
There shall be extensive surveillance, and other clinical interventions as required.
8. What are the regulations on Night Curfew?
Answer: As per the guidelines the movement of people has been strictly restricted for certain period of a day.
Sr. no 6 of the guidelines provides that movement of the individuals shall be strictly prohibited between 7 pm to 7 am except for essential commodities.
Local authorities are directed to issue orders under Section 144 of CrPC in thier respective jurisdiction and ensure strict compliance.
Valid Orders – Standard Operational Procedures (SOPs)
9. Which Standard Operational Procedures shall remain operational during lockdown 4.0?
Answer: Annexure I of the guidelines specifically provides for the SOPs that will remain operative during lockdown 4.0 as follows:
i) Transit of Foreign Nationals : SOP issued by Ministry of Home Affairs dated 02.04.2020 on transit arrangement for the foreign nationals stranded in India and release of people who are in quarantine in India after 15.04.2020.
ii) Movement of Stranded Labours : SOP issued by Ministry of Home Affairs dated 19.04.2020 to facilitate the movement of workers and labours which are engaged in manufacturing, constructions, industrial, farming and MNREGA Works.
iii) Indian Seafarers : SOP issued by Ministry of Home Affairs dated 21.04.2020 to streamline sign-on and sign-off of Indian Seafarers of Indian Ports and their movement for merchant shipping vessels.
iv) Movement of Individuals : SOP issued by Ministry of Home Affairs dated 29.04.2020 and 01.05.2020 to allow the movement of individuals such as migrant workers, pilgrims, students, tourists and other persons, which are stranded at different places in India due to
lockdown by special trains to be operated by Ministry of Railways (MoR).
v) Movement of Indian Nationals : SOP issued by Ministry of Home Affairs dated 01.05.2020 for the movement of Indian Nationals who had travelled to different countries before the lockdown, on various purposes such as employment, studies/ internships,
tourism,business, etc., are stranded abroad.
vi) Movement of Individuals by Train : SOP issued by Ministry of Home Affairs dated 11.05.2020 to provide ‘Shramik’ special trains and buses to enable individuals, especially migrant workers who wish to reach their native places in order to prevent migrant workers to resort to walking on road and on railway tracks to reach their native places.
Elderly People and Children
10. What measures have been taken by the Central Government for the elderly people and children for containing the spread of COVID-19 in India?
Answer: The Ministry of the Home affairs has issued in the guidelines that the individuals above the age of 65 years, individuals with co-morbidities, pregnant women and children below 10 years of age to stay at home strictly except for essential and health purposes.
This step has been taken by the government in order to secure the health of elderly people and children as they are seem to be highly affected by the virus.
Permitted and Prohibited Activities
11. What activities have been permitted and prohibited by the Central Government by the order and guidelines issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs on 17.05.2020?
Answer: As per the guidelines, the Central government has allowed the activities other than which are prohibited as mentioned in the Sr no 2 of the guidelines.
The Government has prohibited all the activities in the Containment zones except the essential services like groceries, milk etc.
Further, the Government has given the power to States and UTs to assess and analyze the situation in their respective areas and tale appropriate steps and measures in easing out the restrictions and to allow certain activities and services in their areas.
Arogya Setu Application
12. What instructions or measures have been issues by the Ministry of Home Affairs with respect to the use of Arogya Setu Application by the individuals in all over the country?
Answer: The main feature of the Arogya Setu App is to identify the potential risk of infection of Covid-19 amongst the society which in turn helps the individuals to take appropriate steps, care and precautions against the spread of Covid-19.
Therefore, in view of this, the Central Government has issued guidelines that employers to make sure on best effort basis that the employees in the offices and workplaces to have Arogya Setu App installed in their compatible mobile phones in order to be cautious and take the relevant precautions against Covid-19. This will help in identifying the individuals who are at risk of the infections and are unwell.
Further, the Central Government has issued in the Guidelines that the District Authorities to advise the individuals to install and use Arogya Setu App on their compatible mobile phones for providing timely and effective medical attention to people who are at risk and unwell as per the data and health status in the application.
Movement of Persons & Goods
13. What are the directions given by the central Government with respect to the movement of persons and goods in the prevailing Covid-19 situation in certain cases?
Answer: The Central government has directed to the States and Union Territories to allow the inter-state and intra-state movement and travel of the Medical Professionals, Nurses, Para medical staff, Sanitation personnel and ambulances without any restrictions.
Further, the inter -state movement of all the types of goods/cargo including empty trucks have been allowed.
No restrictions on the movement op goods/cargo for cross land border trade with respect to the Treaties with the neighboring countries.
Other Guidelines & Measures
14. What other guidelines or directions have been issued by the Central government for extending the lockdown?
Answer: The Central Government has directed the States and Union Territories for the strict compliance/implementation of the guidelines issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs under the Disaster Management Act, 2005.
All the District magistrates are directed to strictly enforce these measures ad guidelines in their respective areas.
For the smooth implementation of these measures and guidelines, the District Magistrates will appoint Executive Magistrates as Incident commanders in their areas. The Incident Commanders will be responsible for the implementation and enforcement of these measures in their areas.
Penal Provisions & Liability
15. What is the liability under different laws in India for not following the guidelines and Measures given by the Ministry of Home Affairs dated 17.05.2020?
Answer: The Ministry of Home Affairs have farmed out the penal provisions applicable for not following or adhering to the guidelines and measures.
These Penal provisions are:
– Section 51 to 60 of Disaster Management Act, 2005
– Section 188 of the Indian Penal Code.
– Other legal provisions as applicable.
Therefore, in view of this liability, it is strictly directed and advised by the Central government to follow the lockdown and the measures mentioned by the Ministry of Home Affairs.
National Directives for Covid-19
16. What are the various directives issues by the Central government in the Annexure-II of the Guidelines dated 17.05.2020 issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs in view of Covid-19?
Answer: The Ministry of Home Affairs in the Guidelines dated 17.05.2020 for the extension of lockdown mentioned the National Directives for the management of Covid-19 which shall be followed by every individual of the country.
Various National Directives in Annexure-II are:
– Face mask/cover to be worn by all at public places and work places.
– Punishment for spitting in public places.
– Social Distancing to be strictly followed everywhere in the country.
– Maximum number of guests in Marriage gathering to be not more than 50 persons who shall follow social distancing norms.
– Maximum number of persons in Funeral gatherings to be not more than 20 persons with social distancing.
– Prohibition on consumption of Liquor, Pan, Gutkaas, Tobacco etc. at public places.
– 2 Gaz Ki Doori i.e. 6 feet distance amongst individual to be strictly followed at shops with not more than 5 people at the shop.
Additional Directives for Workplaces
17. Are there any other Directives to be followed while at Work places and Public Places?
Answer: Yes, the ministry of Home Affairs has laid down additional directives for Work Places so that the spread of Covid-19 can be regulated and minimized.
The various Additional Directives for Work Places include:
– Work from Home to be encouraged.
– Staggering of Work Hours/Business Hours at Work Places, Industries and Establishments.
– Thermal Screening, Hand Wash and Hand Sanitizer to be kept at the entry and exit point of Work Place.
– Regular Sanitisation of the Work Place, Common Areas, regularly used and touched areas eg. door handles, lifts etc.
– Social distancing to be strictly followed amongst workers to be ensured by the employers. Alternate Shifts and Staggering Lunch Breaks for the employees.
AMLEGALS is a multi-specialised law firm. We would love to hear your views, queries, feedback and comments on email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.