Delhi is likely to see some relaxations in the restrictions in the fourth phase of lockdown, barring the areas that are currently designated as containment zones, as centre extended nationwide shutdown till May 31. The capital had 76 containment zones, as on Sunday, where restrictions will stay as per existing protocol.
Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, while endorsing the Centre’s decision to extend the lockdown to tackle the Covid-19 pandemic, hinted that his government would relax restrictions. The CM said that the guidelines issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs, on Sunday evening, were largely in line with the proposal sent by the Delhi government.
“We have used the lockdown period to prepare our healthcare system if Corona cases increase, but it is now time to relax the restrictions to some extent. Delhi government will prepare the detailed plan for Delhi based on the Centre’s guidelines and announce it tomorrow,” Kejriwal said.
We will prepare a detailed plan for Delhi based on the Centre’s guidelines and announce it tomorrow [on Monday]. We’re prepared if corona cases increase, but it is now time to relax restrictions to some extent.
– CM Arvind Kejriwal
Interstate movement of passenger vehicles, buses allowed will be allowed states’ consent, the guidelines said. This means Delhiites may now be allowed to drive or take bus rides, to other cities and states. People living in non-containment zones can expect e-commerce services too.
As on Sunday, the pandemic has affected nearly 10,000 people in Delhi which included 148 deaths. Kejriwal had, a few days ago, suggested that outside containment zones, economic activities should be started, but social distancing and masks should be mandatory.
After the Centre’s announcement on Sunday, Kejriwal said Delhi government’s health care system was prepared to handle the increase in Coronavirus cases, likely after the reopening of most of the shops and other services Metro train, schools, colleges, hotels, restaurants will continue to remain shut.
The guidelines said all shops, except for those in containment zones and malls, can operate from Monday with staggered timings. Delhi government can now open those in GK-II, Khan Market, CP, and Karol Bagh, depending on the government decision. Delhi government will prepare the detailed plan for Delhi based on the Centre’s guidelines and announce it tomorrow, the chief minister posted on Twitter.
In its decision to extend lockdown till May 31, Centre empowered states and Union territories to decide their zones of Green, Orange, and Red Zones. The states will also be able to declare, containment zones, buffer zones and hotspots. Barring activities disallowed by the Centre, states will essentially have their own guidelines for each zone.
Starting Monday, a slew of activities allowed under the guidelines, barber-shops, spas and salons, shopping complexes and markets can now open starting Monday. Opening up of sports activities, Sports complexes and stadia will be permitted to open only for sports activities. However, spectators will not be allowed in these complexes. The restaurants will be allowed to operate kitchens for home delivery of food items.
NEW GUIDELINES FROM MHA
- Domestic and international air travel of passengers, except for domestic medical services, domestic air ambulance and for security purposes or purposes as permitted by MHA; will remain suspended.
- Metro rail services, schools, colleges, educational and training/coaching institutions; hotels, restaurants and other hospitality services, except for the running of canteens in bus depots, railway stations and airports; places of large public gatherings such as cinemas, shopping malls, gymnasiums entertainment parks, etc.; social, political, cultural and similar gatherings and other large congregations; and, access to religious places/places of worship for public remain suspended.
- Wearing of face covers is compulsory. Spitting will be punishable with fine. Marriage related gatherings shall not have more than 50 guests. For funerals/ last rites, the maximum number of persons allowed has been kept at 20. Consumption of liquor, paan, gutkha and tobacco etc., is not allowed in public places.
- Local authorities should ensure that shops and markets open with staggered timings, so as to ensure social distancing. All shops shall also have to ensure six feet distance among customers and also not allow more than 5 persons at one time.
Night Curfew shall continue to remain in force for all non-essential activities, between 7 pm and 7 am. Vulnerable persons, i.e., persons above 65 years of age, persons with comorbidities, pregnant women, and children below the age of 10 years, shall stay at home, except for meeting essential requirements.
State/ UT Governments shall continue to strictly enforce the lockdown guidelines and they shall not dilute these guidelines issued under the Disaster Management Act, 2005.
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