The National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) issued Order Number 1-29/2020 -PP on 17 May 2020, by virtue of its power under Section 6(2)(i) of the Disaster Management Act, 2005 (Act) directing the National Executive Committee (NEC) to continue to implement lockdown measures in all parts of the country, to contain the spread of COVID-19.
Such lockdown measures to contain the spread of COVID-19 were first imposed by the NDMA on 24 March 2020, and has now been imposed for the fourth time, until 31 May 2020.
In furtherance of the NDMA orders, the NEC in exercise of its powers under Section 10(2)(l) of the Act, had issued corresponding orders on lockdown measures on 24 March 2020, 29 March 2020, 14 April 2020, 15 April 2020 and 01 May 2020 along with respective addendums (NEC Orders).
Pursuant to the NDMA order on 17 May 2020, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) vide Order No. 40-3/2020-DM-I(A) dated 17 May 2020 (Order), has issued guidelines on the measures to be taken by Ministries/ Departments of Government of India, State/ UT Governments and State/ UT Authorities for containment of COVID-19 in India, up to 31 May 2020.
On and from 18 May 2020, all the previous orders issued by the NEC in exercise of its powers under Section 10(2)(l) of the Act, including the NEC Orders, shall cease to have effect, unless expressly excepted under this Order.
Demarcation of Zones:
- The delineation of Red, Green and Orange zones will be decided by the respective State/ UT Governments, after taking into due consideration the parameters issued by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW).
- Further, within the Red and Orange zones, Containment zones and Buffer Zones will be demarcated by the District Authorities, after taking into consideration the guidelines issued by the MoHFW.
- In the Containment Zones: (i) only essential activities shall be allowed. (ii) there shall be no movement of people in or out of the zones except for medical emergencies and for maintaining supply of essential goods and services; (iii) there shall be intensive contact tracing, house-to-house surveillance and other clinical interventions, as required.
- In other zones, all other activities except those specifically prohibited hereunder, are permitted.
Prohibited activities throughout the country:
- All domestic and international air travel, except for medical and security purposes.
- Metro rail services.
- School, colleges, educational, training and coaching institutions. Online/ distance learning is permitted.
- Cinema halls, shopping malls, theatres, parks, gyms, swimming pools, bars, assembly halls and auditoriums.
- Sports complexes and stadia are permitted to be open, however, spectators will not be allowed.
- Social, political, sports, entertainment, academic, cultural, religious functions and gatherings.
- Religious places, places of worship and religious congregations.
- Hotels, restaurants and other hospitality services, except, those meant for housing health, police, government officials, healthcare workers, stranded persons, tourists, quarantine facilities and running of canteens at bus depots, railway stations and airports.
- Restaurants shall be permitted to operate kitchens for home delivery of food items.
Movement of persons, except in Containment zones:
- Inter-state movement of passenger vehicles and buses with mutual consent of the States/UTs involved.
- Intra-state movement of passenger vehicles and buses as decided by the States/UTs.
- Irrespective of the zones, the Order prohibits all movement of individuals between 7.00 pm to 7.00 am, except for essential activities.
- The local authorities shall invoke appropriate provisions of law and issue such orders as it deems fit to ensure strict compliance of the curfew.
- Persons above 65 years of age, persons with co-morbidities, pregnant women and children below 10 years of age have been directed to stay at home, except for essential and health purposes.
Movement of certain persons and goods that are permitted:
- Inter-State and Intra-State movement of medical professionals, nurses, para-medical staff, sanitisation personnel and ambulances are permitted without any restrictions.
- Inter-State movement of all types of goods/ cargo, including empty trucks.
- Movement of any type of goods/ cargo for cross land-border trade under Treaties with neighbouring countries.
Standard Operating Procedures:
The Order directs strict adherence to the following Standard Operating Procedures for movement of persons:
- SOP for transit arrangements for foreign nationals in India issued vide Order dated April 02, 2020.
- SOP on movement of stranded labour within States/ UTs, issued vide Order dated April 19, 2020.
- SOP on sign-on and sign-off of Indian seafarers, issued vide Order dated April 21, 2020.
- SOP on movement of stranded migrant workers, pilgrims, tourists, students and other persons, issued vide Order dated April 29, 2020 and Order dated May 01, 2020.
- SOP on movement of Indian Nationals stranded outside the country and of specified persons to travel abroad, issued vide Order dated May 5, 2020.
- SOP on movement of person by train, issued vide Order dated May 11, 2020.
The Order further allows the States/ UTs, to prohibit certain other activities/ impose restriction, in the various zones as deemed necessary, based on their assessment of the situation.
Extending the lockdown till 31 May 2020, the Government of Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra, the states with leading count of active cases, have issued fresh guidelines for restrictions and relaxations of activities in the states.
Gujarat, the state with second highest number of cases, is yet to issue guidelines in this regard.
Use of Aarogya Setu Application (App):
To provide timely medical attention and to ensure safety in offices and workplaces, the Order directs employers to ensure that the App is installed by all employees, on a best effort basis.