On 14th April Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the nation once again and announced that the nationwide lockdown will be extended till May 3. The next day, the Ministry of Home Affairs issued revised guidelines.
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Wearing masks in public is compulsory
Masks in public places have been made compulsory by the MHA. It has also said that spitting is a punishable offense now.
Marriages and funerals will be regulated by District Magistrates. A gathering of more than 5 people will not be allowed anywhere.
The release said that a strict ban should be placed on the sale of gutka, tobacco, and alcohol.
It also said that social distancing should be practiced strictly.
Banks and ATM will remain functional
The government has also allowed RBI and RBI regulated financial markets to operate.
Other parties that have been exempted from the lockdown include ATMs, bank branches, IT vendors involved in banking functions, insurance companies, and IRDAI.
Shelter homes for children/mentally challenged/senior citizens/destitute/women, and widows will remain functional.
Anganwadis were allowed to operate but the beneficiaries have not been allowed to attend Anganwadis.
Farming operations and item procurement will be allowed
Health services, including AYUSH, will continue to function in the said time period.
In order to mitigate the effect of the nationwide lockdown on the rural sector, the government will allow agricultural activities. The new guidelines allow farming operations and agencies that are involved in the procurement of agricultural items to function.
Mandis operated by the Agriculture Produce Market Committee (APMC) will remain functional.
Construction will continue where the labour is available
Construction of irrigation projects, roads, buildings and other industrial projects (including MSMEs) in rural areas will be allowed. Projects in industrial estates were also allowed.
Construction projects under the purview of municipal corporations were allowed with the condition that workers must not be brought from outside.
Steps to repair a broken supply chain
Measures to repair the broken supply chain have also been taken by the government.
The government said, “All facilities in the supply chain of essential goods, whether involved in brick and mortar stores or e-commerce companies should be allowed to operate ensuring strict social distancing within any restriction of their timing of operations.”
It has allowed Kirana shops and carts, which include fruits, vegetables, hygiene items, dairy booths, PDS, meat and fish, poultry, animal feed, etc to operate.
Reliefs for industries in SEZs and townships
Industries that are operating in rural areas (beyond the limits of municipal corps.) will be made operational.
Manufacturing and other industrial establishments with access control in SEZs and EOUs will function. The government has directed these organizations that (as far as possible) the accommodation of workers should be arranged on their premises.
Things that are allowed:
MGNREGA work to continue but social distancing norms must be followed. Here, preference will be given to Irrigation and water conservation projects.
Only goods and parcel trains will be allowed. Speaking of flights, only relief, cargo, and evacuation movement will be permitted.
Highway Dhaba and repair shops for trucks will be allowed to function from April 20.
The government also said that the workplaces must have adequate temperature screening. Also, they must keep sanitizers at all important points.
There should be a gap of one hour between work shifts. Lunch breaks must be staggered.
Large meetings should be avoided and workplaces should be sanitized regularly.
Manufacturing companies must keep common surfaces clean and handwashing should be made mandatory.
Religious places and institutions to remain shut
Educational institutions and places of worship will remain closed. Trains and flights will also remain suspended.