Lockdown 4.0: Metro, restaurants, air travel not allowed

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi holds a meeting with all the floor leaders of various parties in the Parliament on COVID-19 via video conferencing, in New Delhi on Apr 8, 2020. Also seen Union Home Minister Amit Shah, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, Health Minister Harsh Vardhan, Social Justice and Empowerment Minister Thawar Chand Gehlot, MoS External Affairs V. Muraleedharan and Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman. (Photo: IANS/PIB)

New Delhi, May 17 (IANS) As the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on Sunday extended the lockdown till May 31, air travel, metro rail services, restaurants, schools and colleges will be prohibited throughout the country.

“Lockdown shall continue to remain in force up to May 31,” the MHA announced on Sunday.

While it directed the states to decided the zones — Red, Green and Orange — taking into consideration the parameters shared by the Health Ministry, it says the “zones can be a district, or a municipal corporation/municipality or even smaller administrative units such as sub-divisions, as decided by states and UTs.”

While there are different relaxations for different zones, certain countrywide prohibitions have been put in place irrespective of the zones.

“All domestic and international air travel, except for domestic medical services, domestic air ambulance and for security purposes or purposes as permitted by MHA will be barred,” it said.

The Metro rail services, which were supported by the Delhi government, will also be banned as per the MHA.

“Schools, colleges, educational training and coaching institutions will remain closed. Online distance learning shall continue to be permitted and shall be encouraged.”

The MHA said hotels, restaurants and other hospitality services, except those meant for housing government officials/ healthcare workers/ stranded persons including tourists and for 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.

“All cinema halls, shopping malls, gymnasiums, swimming pools, entertainment parks, theatres, bars and auditoriums, assembly halls, sports complexes and stadiums will be permitted to open, however, spectators will not be allowed.”

The MHA also barred all social, political, sports, entertainment, academic, cultural, religious functions and other gatherings and large congregations.

“All religious places or places of worship shall be closed for the public. Religious congregations are strictly prohibited.”

While it put a complete ban on the above activities, it gave a number of relaxations across the country except in the Containment Zones.

The MHA allowed the inter-state movement of passenger vehicles and buses, “with mutual consent of the state(s)/UTs) involved”.

It also allowed the intra-state movement of passenger vehicles and buses, as decided by states and UTs.

In a statement, the MHA said: “A limited number of activities will continue to remain prohibited throughout the country. These include all domestic and international air travel of passengers.”

The 21-day nationwide lockdown imposed from March 25 was to end on April 14. However, it was extended to May 3 and then to May 17. Now the National Disaster Management Authority has asked states and Central government to continue the same till May 31.

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