Unlock 4.0: MHA’s new guidelines

Gangtok, August 30: The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), Government of India on August 29 exercising powers conferred under section 10 (2)(1) of the Disaster Management Act (DMA), 2005 released new guidelines to be followed for Phased Re-opening (Unlock 4) which will remain in force until September 1-30. The new guidelines from MHA have ordered […] The post Unlock 4.0: MHA’s new guidelines appeared first on The Sikkim Chronicle - Sikkim News.

Unlock 4.0: MHA’s new guidelines

Gangtok, August 30: The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), Government of India on August 29 exercising powers conferred under section 10 (2)(1) of the Disaster Management Act (DMA), 2005 released new guidelines to be followed for Phased Re-opening (Unlock 4) which will remain in force until September 1-30.

The new guidelines from MHA have ordered states and authorities to re-open more activities in areas outside of Containment zones, while Containment zones will remain in lockdown until September 30.

They have also permitted and restricted the following activities outside of Containment Zones:

  • There shall be no more restrictions on the inter-state and intra-state movement of both people and goods, as well as no separate permits/ e-permits will be required for the same.
  • Metro Rail will be allowed to operate in a graded manner from September 7.

Regarding educational institutions:

  • While schools, colleges, educational and coaching institutions will have to continue to remain closed for students and regular activity till September 21. States/ UTs may permit up to 50 per cent of teaching and non-teaching staff to be called to the schools at a time for online teaching/ tele-counselling and related work outside of the Containment Zones from September 21, after which Standard Operating procedures (SOP) will be issued by MHA for the same.
  • Students of Class 9-12 who seek guidance from their teachers allowed voluntary visits with the consent of parents/ teacher but only outside of Containment Zones from September 21.
  • Skill and entrepreneurship training will be permitted in National Skill Training Institutes, Industrial Training Institutes, and in short-term training centres which are registered with the National Skill Development Corporation or State Skill Development Missions or other ministries of the Centre and states.
  • For higher education, institutions can open but only for research scholars (PhD) and post-graduate students of technical and professional programmes requiring laboratory/experimental works.

Regarding ‘social/ academic/ sports/ entertainment/ cultural/ religious/ political functions and other congregations:

  • Strictly only 100 people can attend such congregations and with the mandatory wearing of face masks, practising social distancing, provision for thermal scanning and hand-wash or sanitizer. The same guidelines will be applied for weddings and funeral but with an attendance limit of 50 and 20 people respectively up till September 20, following which the attendance limit will be increased to 100.
  • Cinema halls, swimming pools, entertainment parks, theatres will continue to remain closed but the operation of open-air theatres has been permitted from September 21.
  • International air travel of passengers, train services will remain restricted except those permitted by the MHA.
  • Persons above 65 years of age, persons with co-morbidities, pregnant women, and children below the age of 10 years, are advised to stay at home, except for meeting essential requirements and for health purposes.

State/UT Governments shall not impose any local lockdown (State/ district/ sub-division/ city/ village level), outside of the containment zones, without prior consultation with the Centre government and no restriction on inter-state and intra-state movement of persons and goods can be implemented by State/ UT Governments.

An MHA official has said, “Such lockdowns and sealing of borders have severely impaired supply chains and are adversely affecting efforts to revive the economy.”

For Containment Zones the following guidelines will be followed:

  • For containment zones, the lockdown will continue till September 30. Strict containment measures will be enforced with stringent perimeter control to ensure no movement of people in containment zones in or out, except for essential activities-medical emergencies and the supply of essential commodities.
  • Intensive contact tracing, house-to-house interventions surveillance, as well as clinical interventions, shall be effectively imposed.
  • After considering the MHA guidelines with the goal being to effectively break the chain of transmission, District Authorities will have to demarcate containment zones at the micro-level.

States/UTs have been warned to not dilute the guidelines issued for Unlock 4 under DMA,2005 with district magistrates enforcing them. A person violating these guidelines will be penalized as per the provisions of Section 51-60 of the DMA, 2005 besides the legal action under Section 188 of the Indian Penal Code which dictates- ‘provides punishment for disobedience to an order duly promulgated by a public servant.’

Further, the order of the new guidelines for Unlock 4.0 encourages people to download the Arogya Setu App for the early identification of potential risk of infection and also reminding that the wearing of face masks in public places, maintaining social distancing is mandatory and that spitting in public places will be punishable.

The order also advises practising Work From Home as much as possible, workplaces to follow the timetable for work/ business hours, to make provisions for screening and others so that employees can practice hygiene and to frequently sanitize workplaces.

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