New set of guidelines released to ease hardships during extended lockdown

The Center notified a new set of guidelines in light of the extension of the nationwide lockdown till 3rd of May. In order to mitigate the hardship for the public and relax provisions for the daily wage workers and farmers, select additional activities have been allowed which will come into effect from 20th of April in the areas which are not declared as Containment Zones.

The Government has stated that all agricultural and horticultural activities including farming operations and farm workers in field, agencies engaged in procurement of agriculture products, including MSP operations, Mandis’ operated by the Agriculture Produce Market Committee, Shops of agriculture machinery will remain fully functional during this time. Movement of all trucks and other goods carrier vehicles with two drivers and one helper subject to the driver carrying a valid driving license to remain functional.

In addition, all finance related institutions and health related services will remain fully functional. The Government has stated that all facilities in the supply chain of essential goods, whether involved in manufacturing, wholesale or retail of such goods through local stores, large brick and mortar stores or e-Commerce companies should be allowed to operate.

MGNREGA works would be allowed with strict implementation of social distancing norms and face mask. Operations of Oil and Gas sector, including refining, transportation, distribution, storage and retailing of products like petrol, diesel, kerosene, CNG, LPG, PNG is also to be allowed.

Hotels, homestays, lodges and motels, which are accommodating tourists and persons stranded due to lockdown, medical and emergency staff, air and sea crew shall remain in operation. Manufacturing units of essential goods, including drugs, pharmaceuticals medical devices, their raw material and intermediates and food processing industries in rural areas to remain functional as well.

The Government has also stated that all offices of the Government of India, it’s Autonomous and Subordinate offices will remain open and Police, Home Guards, Civil Defence, Fire and Emergency Services, Disaster Management, Prisons and Municipal Services will be functional without any restrictions. Centre has also stated that strict penal action will be taken against any person violating the lockdown measures and asked everyone to adhere to all the protocols issued by the government.