The government on Sunday, May 17, extended the nationwide coronavirus lockdown by two more weeks from May 18 while easing curbs in areas with limited virus infection to boost the economy hit by the pandemic.
The nationwide lockdown 4.0 will end on May 31, read a National Disaster Management (NDMA) order, which requested for a nationwide lockdown to curb the spread of the deadly virus.
The NDMA, that is responsible for setting policy on the lockdown, made its request in a letter to India's interior ministry, that is expected to issue detailed guidelines on the lockdown later on Sunday.
Earlier to the Centre's decision on Lockdown 4.0, three states -- Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Punjab -- already extended lockdown till the midnight of May 31st.
Considering the fact that the lockdown measures need to be implemented for a further period in the country to contain the spread of novel coronavirus or COVID-19 pandemic, the NDMA directed the ministries, departments of Indian government and states to continue the lockdown measures up to May 31.
The authorities further directed departments concerned to issue modifications in the guidelines as necessary, keeping in view the need to open up economic activities while containing the spread of the deadly COVID-19 virus, it said.
The extension came amid considerable relaxations being introduced in non-containment zones across the country. The order came as the lockdown 3.0 was to end on Sunday midnight.
Here are the MHA's guidelines for Lockdown 4.0:
- Few activities that remain prohibited across the country till May 31, according to the MHA's latest order -- domestic/international air travel, metro rail services, schools/colleges and other educational institutions, hotels/restaurants and other hospitality services except those housing emergency service workers or being used as quarantine facilities. For home delivery of food items, restaurants will be allowed to operate kitchens.
- All cinema halls, shopping malls, gymnasiums, swimming pools, entertainment parks, theatres, bars, auditoriums and other places will remain closed. While sports complexes and stadiums have been allowed to reopen, no spectators will be permitted to enter these venues.
- The Home Ministry has now permitted inter-state movement of passenger vehicles and buses, provided that consent is given by all states/UTs involved.
Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba will meet chief secretaries/DG's of all states/UTs via video conference at 9 pm tonight to discuss the guidelines of lockdown 4.0.