Detail Guidelines for Phased Re-opening (Unlock 4) issued by MHA

Haflong, August 30, 2020 : The Union Home Ministry, Government of India issued  Guidelines for  Phased Re-opening (Unlock 4) On August 29.

The order vide No. 40-3/2020-DM-I(A), Government of India, Ministry of Home Affairs, North Block, New Delhi-110001, Dated 29th August, 2020, is read :

“ORDER

Whreas, an Order of even number dated 29.07.2020 was issued for containment of COVID-19 in the country, for a period upto 31.08.2020Whereas, in exercise of the powers under section 6(2)(i) of the Disaster Management Act, 2005, National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) has directed the undersigned to issue an order to re-open more activities in areas outside the Containment Zones and to extend the lockdown in Containment Zones upto 30.09.2020;

Now therefore, in exercise of the powers, conferred under Section 10(2)(1) of the Disaster Management Act 2005, the undersigned hereby directs that guidelines on Unlock 4, as annexed, will be in force upto 30.09.2020.”

The order was signed by ‘Union Home Secretary and, Chairman, National Executive Committee (NEC)’.

‘Guidelines for  Phased Re-opening (Unlock 4)’ :

[As per Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) Order No.40-3/2020-DM-I(A), dated 29th August, 2020]

1. Activities permitted during Unlock 4 period outside Containment Zones:

In areas outside the Containment Zones, all activities will be permitted, except the following :

            (i) Schools, Colleges, educational and coaching institutions will continue to remain closed for students and regular class activitity up to 30th September 2020. However, following will be permitted :

            a. Online/distance learning shall continue to be permitted and shall be encouraged.

            b. States/UTs may permit upto 50% of teaching and non-teaching staff to be called to the   schools at a time for online teaching/ tele-counselling and related work, in areas outside the Containment Zones only, with effect from 21st September 2020 for which, Standard Iperating Procedure (SOP) will be issued by the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare (MoHFW).

            c. Students of class 9 to 12 may be permitted to visit their schools, in areas outside the Containment Zones only, on voluntary basis, for taking guidance from their teachers. This will be subject to written consent of their parents/ guardians and will be permitted with effect from 21st September 2020 for which SOP will be issued by MoHFW.

            d. Skill or Entrepreneurship training will be permitted in National Skill Training Institutes (ITIs), Short term training centres registered with National Skill Development Corporation or State Skill Developmet Missions or other Ministries of Government of India or State Governments.

            National Institues for Entrepreneurship and Small Business Development (NIESGUD), Indian Institute of Entrepreneurship (IIE) and their training providers will also be permitted.

            These will be permitted with effect from 21st September 2020 for which, SOP will be issued by MoHFW.

            e. Higher Education Institutions only for research scholars (Ph.D.) and post-graduate students of technical and professional programmes requiring laboratory/ experimental works. These will be permitted by the Department of Higher Education (DHE) in consultation with MHA, based on the assessment of the situation, and keeping in view incidence of COVID-19 in the States/UTs.

(ii) Metro rail will be allowed to operate with effect from 7th September 2020 in a graded manner, bythe Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MOHUA)/ Ministry of Railways (MOR), in consultation with MHA. In this regard, SOP will be issued by MOGUA.

(iii) Social/ academic/ sports/ entertainment/ cultural/ religious/ political functions and other congregations with a ceiling of 100 persons, will be permitted with effect from 21st September 2020, with mandatory wearing of face masks, social distancing, provision for thermal scanning and hand wash or sanitizer.

However, marriage related gatherings with number of guests not exceeding 50 and funeral 20 will continue to be allowed upto 20th September 2020, after which the ceiling of 100 persons will apply.

(iv) Cinima halls, swimming pools, entertainment parks, theatres and similar places will remain closed. However, open air theatres will be permitted to open with effect from 21st September 2020.

(v) International air travel of passengers, except as permitted by MHA.

2. National Directives for COVID-19 Management:

            National Directives for COVID-19 Management, as specified in Annexure I, shall continue to be followed through out the country.

3. Lockdown limited to Containment Zones:

            (i) Lockdown shall remain in force in the Containment Zones till 30th September, 2020.

            (ii) Containment Zones shall be demarcated by the District authorities at micro level after  taking into consideration the guidelines of MoHFW with the objective of effectively breaking the chain of transmission. Strit containment measures will be enforced in these containment zones and only essential activities will be allowed. There shall be strict perimeter control to ensure that there is no  movement of people in or out of these zones, except for medical emergencies and for maintaining supply of essential goods and services. In the Containment Zones, there shall be intensive contact tracing, house-to-house surveillance, and other clinical interventions, as required. Guidelines of MoHFW shall be effectively implemented for the above purpose.

            (iii) These Containment Zones will be notified on the websites by the respective District Collectors and by the States/UTs and information will  be shared with MOHFW.

4.         State/UT Governments shall not impose any local lockdown (State/District/sub-division/City level), outside the containment zones, without prior consultation with the Central Government.

5.         No restriction on Inter-State and intra-State movement:

            There shall be no restriction on inter-State and Intra-State movement of persons and goods including those for cross land-border trade under Treaties with neighbouring countries. No separate permission/ approval / e-permit will be required for such movements.

6.         Movement of persons with SOPs:

            Movement by passenger trains; domestic passenger air travel; movement of persons on Vande Bharat and Air Transport Bubble flights; and sign-on and sign-off of Indian seafarers will continue to be regulated as per SOPs issued.

7.         Protection of vulnerable persons:

            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 essential and health purposes.

8.         Use of Aarogya Setu:

            (i) Aarogya Setu enables early identification of potential risk of infection, and thus acts as a shield for individuals and the community.

            (ii) With a view to ensuring safety in offices and work places, employers on best effort basis should  endure that Aarogya Setu is installed by all employees having compatible mibole phones.

            (iii) District authorities may advise individuals to install the Aarogya Setu application on compatible mobile phones and regularly update their health status on the app. This will facilitate timely provision of medical attention to those individuals who are at risk.

9.         Strict enforcement of the guidelines:

            (i) State/UT Governments shall not dilute these guidelines issued under the Disaster Management Act, 2005, in any manner.

            (ii) For the enforcement of social distancing, State/UT Government may, as far as possible, use the provisions of Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) of 1973.

            (iii) All the District Magistrates shall strictly enforce the above measures.

10.       Penal provisions:

Any person violating these measures will be liable to be proceeded against as per the provisions of Section 51 to 60 of the Disaster Management Act, 2005, besides legal action under Section 188 of the IPC, and other legal provisions as applicable. Extracts of these penal provisions are at Annexre II.

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Annexure I

National Directives for COVID-19 Management:

1.         Face Coverings : Wearing of face cover is compulsory in public places; in workplaces; and during transport.

2.         Social distancing : Individuals must maintain a minimum distance of 6 feet (2 gaz ki doori) in public places.

            Shops will ensure physical distancing among customers.

3.         Spitting in public places will be punishable with fine, as may be prescribed by the State/ UT local authority in accordance with its laws, rules or regulations.

            Additional directives for Work Places:

4.         Work from home (WfH) : As far as possible the practice of WfH should be followed.

5.         Staggering of work/ business hours will be followed in offices, work places, shops, markets and industrial & commercial establishments.

6.         Screening & hygiene : Provision for thermal scanning, hand wash or sanitizer will be made at all entry points and of hand wash or sanitizer at exit points and common areas.

7.         Frequent sanitization of entire workplace, common facilities and all points which come into human contact e.g. door handles etc., will be ensured, including bwtween shifts.

8.         Social distancing : All persons in charge of work places will ensure adeuate distance bwtween workers, adequate gaps bwtween shifts, staggering the lunch breaks of staff, etc.

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Annexure II

Offences and Penalties for Violation of Lockdown Measures:

A.        Section 51 to 60 of the Disaster Management Act, 2005:

            51. Punishment for obstruction, etc. — Whoever, without reasonable cause —

            (a) obstructs any officer or employee of the Central Government or the State Government, or a person authorised by the National Authority or State Authority or District Authority in the discharge of his functions under this Act; or

            (b) refuses to comply with any direction given by or on behalf of the Central Government or the State Government or the National Executive Committee or the State Executive Committee or the District Authority under this Act,

shall on conviction be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to one year or with fine, or with both, and if such obstruction or refusal to comply with directions results in loss of lives or imminent danger thereof, shall on conviction be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to two years.

            52. Punishment for false claim.— Whoever knowingly makes a claim which he knows or has reason to believe to be false for obtaining any relief, assistance, repair, reconstruction or other benefits consequent to disaster from any officer of the Central Government, the State Government, the National Authority, the State Authority or the District Authority, shall, on conviction be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to two years, and also with fine.

            53. Punishment for misappropriation of money or materials, etc. — Whoever, being entrusted with any money or materials, or otherwise being in custody of, or dominion over, any money or goods, meant for providing relief in any threatening disaster situation or disaster, misappropriates or appropriates for his own use or disposes of such money or materials or any part thereof or wilfully compels any other person so to do, shall on conviction be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to two years, and also with fine.

            54.Punishment for false warning — Whoever makes or circulates a false alarm or warning as to disaster or its severity or magnitude, leading to panic, shall on conviction, be punishable with imprisonment which may extend to one year or with fine.

            55. Offences by Departments of the Government. —(1) Where an offence under this Act has been committed by any Department of the Government, the head of the Department shall be deemed to be guilty of the offence and shall be liable to be proceeded against and punished accordingly unless he proves that the offence was committed without his knowledge or that he exercised all due difference to prevent the commission of such offence.

(2) Notwithstanding anything contained in sub-section (1), where an offence under this Act has been committed by a Department of the Government and it is proved that the offence has been committed with the consent or connivance of, or is attributable to any neglect on the part of, anyofficer, other than the head of the Department, such officer shall be deemed to be guilty of that offence and shall be liable to be proceeded against and punished accordingly.

            56. Failure of officer in duty or his connivance at the contravention of the provisions of this Act. —Any officer, on whom any duty has been imposed by or under this Act and who ceases or refuses to perform or withdraws himself from the duties of his official shall, unless he has obtained the express written permission of his official superior or has other lawful excuse for so doing, be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extends to one year or with fine.

            57. Penalty for contravention of any order regarding requisitioning.— If any person contravenes any order made under section 65, he shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to one year or with fine or with both.

            58. Offence by companies. — (1) Where an offence under this Act has been committed by a company or body corporate, every person who at the time the offence was committed, was in charge of, and was responsible to, the company, for the conduct of the business of the company, as well as the company, shall be deemed to be guilty of the contravention and shall be liable to be proceeded against and punished accordingly.

            Provided that nothing in this sub-section shall render any such person liable to any punishment provided in this Act, if he proves that the offence was committed without his knowledge or that he exercised due diligence to prevent the commission of such offence.

            (2) Notwithstanding anything contained in sub-section (1), where an offence under this Act has been committed by a company, and it is proved that the offence was committed with the consent or coonivance of or is attributable to any neglect on the part of any director, manager, secretary or other officer of the company, such director, manager, secretary or other officer shall also, be deemed to be guilty of that offence and shall be liable to be proceeded against and punished accordingly.

            Explanation. — For the purpose of this section —

(a) “company” means anybody corporate and includes a firm or other association of individuals; and

(b) “director”, in relation to a firm, means a partner in the firm.

            59. Previous sanction for prosecution. — No prosecution for offences punishable under section 55 and 56 shall be instituted except with the previous sanction of the Central Government or the State Government, as the case may be, or of any officer authorised in this behalf, by general or special order, by such Government.

            60. Cognizance of offences. — No court shall take cognizance of an offence under this Act except on a complaint made by —

(a) the National Authority, the State Authority, the Central Government, the State Government, the District Authority or any other authority or officer authorised in this behalf by that Authority or Government, as the case may be; or

(b) any person who has given notice of not less than thirty days in the manner prescribed, of the alleged offecne and his intention to make a complaint to the National Authority, the State Authority, the Central Government, the State Government, the District Authority or any other authority or officer authorised as aforesaid.

B.        Section 188 in the Indian Penal Code, 1860.

            188. Disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant.—

Whoever, knowin that, by an order promulgated by a public servant lawfully empowered to promulgate such order, he is directed to abstain from a certain act, or to take certain order with certain property in his possession or under his management, disobeys such direction, shall, if such disobedience causes or tends to cause obstruction, annoyance or injury, or risk of obstruction, annoyance or injury, to any person lawfully employed, be punished with simple imprisonment for a term which may extend to one month or with fine which may extend to two hundred rupees, or with both; and if such disobedience causes or trends to cause danger to human life, health or safety, or causes or tends to cause a riot or affray, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to six months, or with fine which may extend to one hundred rupees, or with both.

Explanation. — It is not necessary that the offender should intend to produce harm, or contemplate his disobedience as likely to produce harm. It is sufficient that he knows of the order which he disobeys, and that his disobedience produces, or is likely to produce, harm.

Illustration:

An order is promulgated by a public servant lawfully empowered to promulgate such order, directing that a religious procession shall not pass down a certain street. A knowingly disobeys the order, and thereby causes danger of riot. A has committed the offence defined in this section.

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