The Ministry of Home Affairs has announced a set of new rules and regulations and issued a letter to the states on implementation of the new advisory.
The new advisory has allowed select activities to operate from April 20. The central government has also advised the states and union territories to not dilute these rules, but to make them stricter based on local needs.
The government has also allowed farmers to go back to work on the fields. All other agriculture-related functions have been allowed too. Mandis that are operated by the Agriculture Produce Market Committee or controlled by a government body can function at the village level.
Along with that, fisheries, plantations (with 50 per cent of workers) and animal husbandry farms will be allowed to function.
RBI and financial organisations regulated by it, like NPCI and CCIL, along with banks will open from April 20. "Local administration to provide adequate security personnel at bank branches and BCs to maintain social distancing, law and order and staggering of account holders," the advisory directed.
Care home and anganwadis will be functional too. MNREGA workers can go back to work given they maintain social distancing and wear face masks.
These activities will not be allowed in any of the contamination zones or hotspots and there shall be strict perimeter to ensure no one goes in or out without being checked. If a new area is demarcated as a hotspot, these activities will be suspended there too.
The rest of the advisory is similar to the last one. All public places, gatherings, places of worship, theatres, etc are still closed. All means of passenger transport is still not allowed.
Public utilities like power, gas and oil operations are still allowed. All public services like fire police and health service providers will still be allowed to ply. All cargo and goods traffic will go as usual.
Centre also wrote a letter to the chief secretaries of states and administrators of union territories to ensure that the new guidelines are followed strictly. "The activities allowed under the consolidated revised guidelines will be withdrawn immediately if any of the local measures are violated, risking the spread of COVID-19," Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla said in the letter. "All entities in the government and private sectors and members of public should follow the guidelines strictly."