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New COVID-19 Guidelines Come Into Effect Today: All You Need To Know

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New Delhi: Amidst the surge in spike of new COVID-19 cases in some regions, the Centre has issued a fresh set of guidelines which is effective from today.

These new guidelines will remain in force till December 31.

While issuing guidelines for “Surveillance, Containment and Caution” for December, the MHA said the main focus of the directive is to consolidate the substantial gains which are visible in the steady decline in the number of active cases in the country.

The Ministry has allowed the states and UTs to impose local restrictions such as night curfew, however, lockdown can’t be enforced without prior consultation with the central government.

Here’s the list of new COVID-19 guidelines released by MHA:
  • Based on their assessment of the situation, states and UTs may impose local restrictions, such as night curfew. However, they cannot impose any local lockdown outside the containment zones without prior consultation with the Centre.

 

  • Local district, police and municipal authorities shall be responsible to ensure that the prescribed containment measures are strictly followed. “States and UTs are mandated to strictly enforce containment measures, SOPs on various activities and COVID-appropriate behavior and exercise caution and regulate crowds,” a home ministry statement said.

 

  • All activities have been permitted outside containment zones except for some which have been allowed with certain restrictions.

 

  • These activities are international air travel of passengers, as permitted by MHA, cinema halls and theatres, with up to 50 percent capacity, swimming pools, only for training of sports persons and exhibition halls, only for business to business (B2B) purposes.

 

  • Social, religious, sports, entertainment, educational, cultural and religious gatherings in closed spaces are allowed with up to a maximum of 50 percent of the hall capacity with a ceiling of 200 persons. In open spaces, people wiil be allowed as per the size of the ground. However, based on their assessment of the situation, state and UT governments may reduce the ceiling to 100 persons or less in closed spaces.

 

  • 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.

 

  • Sates and UTs will ensure careful demarcation of containment zones by the district authorities at the micro-level, taking into consideration the guidelines prescribed by the health ministry in this regard.

 

  • Only essential activities shall be allowed in the containment zones and 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 the supply of essential goods and services.

 

  • The guidelines said the state and UT governments shall take all necessary measures to promote COVID-19 appropriate behaviour and to ensure strict enforcement of wearing of face masks, hand hygiene and social distancing.

 

  • To enforce the core requirement of wearing of face masks, states and UTs may consider administrative actions, including the imposition of appropriate fines on persons not wearing face masks in public and workspaces.

 

  • The standard operating procedures (SOPs) for markets issued by the health ministry on Monday stated that online booking of groceries and doorstep delivery of those must be encouraged while incentives or discounts for those who shop during non-peak hours may be considered.
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