Representative Image
Representative Image

The Centre has released a new set of guidelines in the midst of an increase in COVID-19 cases in certain areas across the country. These recommendations are effective from today (December 1) and will remain in force till December 31, 2020.

While issuing the 'Surveillance, Containment and Caution' guidance, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) noted that the key objective is to consolidate the situation after the steady decline in the number of active COVID-19 cases in the country.

Here are the Home Ministry's guidelines:

1) According to the prevailing local situations, states and union territories can enforce night curfew. However, they cannot enforce local lockdowns without consultation with the Centre.

2) The home ministry said that it is the responsibility of the district, police and municipal authorities to ensure that the containment measures recommended are followed strictly.

3) All activities have been allowed outside containment zones, except some restrictions. These are - international passenger air travel, as allowed by the MHA, cinema halls and theatres with a capacity of up to 50%, swimming pools for sports training only and exhibition halls for business-to-business (B2B) purposes only.

4) Social, religious, sporting, entertainment, educational, cultural and religious events are permitted in closed spaces with a maximum capacity of up to 50% of the hall. The maximum ceiling has been kept at 200 people. However, people will be permitted in open spaces according to the size of the field.

6) Inter-State and intra-State movement of persons and goods, including cross-border movement shall not be prohibited.

7) State and UTs should ensure careful demarcation of containment areas. They should also ensure no movement of people in or out of these areas, except for medical emergencies and for preservation of essential items. This should happen with strict social distancing.

8) All required steps such as implementation of face mask wearing, and social distancing is the responsibility of the state government. Imposition of fines on individuals for not wearing face masks in public could be contemplated.

9) Online booking of groceries must be encouraged, while rewards or discounts may be considered for those shopping during non-peak hours.

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