New Delhi (NVI): The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) today issued fresh guidelines for surveillance, containment and caution in States and Union Territories, in the wake of the rising COVID-19 cases in the country.
The new guidelines will be effective from December 1 and to remain in force till the end of the year.
As per the guidelines, only essential activities shall be allowed in containment zones. The local district, police and municipal authorities shall be responsible to ensure that the prescribed measures are strictly followed everywhere.
MHA Guidelines for Surveillance, Containment and Caution
States/ UTs mandated to strictly enforce containment measures, SOPs on various activities and COVID-Appropriate behavior and exercise caution and regulate crowds
— Spokesperson, Ministry of Home Affairs (@PIBHomeAffairs) November 25, 2020
The main focus of the guidelines is to consolidate the substantial gains that have been achieved against the spread of COVID-19 which is visible in the steady decline in the number of active cases in the country, the MHA order said.
Further, keeping in view the recent spike in new cases in few States and Union Territories, it is emphasized that there is need to maintain caution, the guidelines said.
Under the guidelines, the governments in states and UTs, based on their assessment of the situation, may also impose local restrictions, with a view to contain the spread of COVID-19 such as night curfew.
However, state and 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, the guidelines said.
The MHA in order said that, “States and UTs also need to enforce social distancing in offices. In cities, where weekly positivity rate is over 10 per cent, states/UTs concerned shall consider implementing staggered office timings and other measures, to ensure social distancing.”
The guidelines also said that there shall be no restrictions on inter-state and intra-state movements and no additional passes or registration will be required for that.
“States and UTs should ensure strict enforcement of wearing of face masks, hand hygiene and social distancing must be followed and state authorities can impose appropriate fines on people for not wearing masks,” the MHA said.
Furthermore, the social distancing guidelines should also be strictly followed in crowded places, especially in markets, weekly bazaars and public transport.
All activities have been permitted outside containment zones, except for the following, which have been permitted with certain restrictions:
— International air travel of passengers, as permitted by MHA.
— Cinema halls and theatres, with upto 50 percent capacity.
— Swimming pools, only for training of sportspersons.
— Exhibition halls, only for business to business (B2B) purposes.
— Social/religious/sports/ entertainment/educational/cultural/religious gatherings, with upto a maximum of 50 percent of the hall capacity, with a ceiling of 200 persons in closed spaces; and keeping of the size of the ground/ space in view, in open spaces.
However, there shall be strict perimeter control to ensure that there is no movement of people in or out of containment zones, except for medical emergencies and for maintaining supply of essential goods and services, as per the guidelines.