Movement of people will remain prohibited throughout the country from 09:00 pm- 05:00 am, barring essential activities during the ongoing Unlock 1.0 phase but there won't be any restrictions on the movement of buses with passengers and goods trucks on highways, the Centre stated on Friday.
In a communication to states, Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla also made it clear that the purpose behind restricting the movement of individuals during night hours was primarily meant to curb congregation of people and ensure social distancing, not to affect supply chains and logistics.
PTI also quoted Bhalla as saying, "The restriction does not apply to instances of loading/ unloading of goods (as part of supply chains and logistics); buses carrying persons and trucks and goods carriers plying on state and national highways, or persons travelling to their destinations after disembarking from buses, trains and flights."
States and UTs are advised to not stop the aforementioned movement of people. All the necessary instructions to this effect shall be issued to the district as well as local authorities, Bhalla added.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi imposed a nationwide lockdown on March 25 to combat the coronavirus pandemic for the first time. The lockdown has since then been extended first till May 3, then again till May 17. It was further extended till May 31. Currently, India is undergoing the fifth phase of lockdown which has more relaxations including rail, road and domestic air travel compared to the previous ones. These relaxations, however, don't apply to areas classified as containment zones and they have to follow guidelines issued by the Union Home Ministry from time to time. The lockdown, which is applicable to containment zones will continue till June 30.
As India claws its way out of coronavirus lockdown, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will hold a meeting with the CMs on June 16 and 17 via video conferencing. This will be the sixth time that PM Modi will meet chief ministers of all the states and UTs to take a note of the coronavirus situation in the country; the last meeting took place on May 11. This meeting comes at a time when the number of active coronavirus cases in India stands at 1,41,842 whereas the number of fatalities is at 8,498.