The Centre has extended the nationwide lockdown for a period of two weeks until May 31. Yesterday, the Ministry of Home Affairs outlined the details of the Lockdown 4.0 by issuing guidelines. However, several relaxations has been given to different sectors while also lifting a number of restrictions for various activities.

The MHA guidelines explicitly notified that all states or union territories shall allow inter-state movement of all types of goods/cargo, including empty trucks. The guidelines also directed that no state or union territory shall stop the movement of any type of goods/cargo for cross land-border trade under treaties with neighbouring countries.

India has recorded over 96,000 COVID-19 cases so far, with the death toll crossing 3000. Given the present circumstance, the extension of the lockdown is seen as a step in the right direction by many. All domestic, international air travel of passengers, except domestic air ambulance, will remain prohibited till May 31. However, the following two activities are permitted with restrictions, except in containment zones:

  • Inter-state movement of passenger vehicles and buses, with mutual consent of the state(s)/UT(s) involved.
  • Intra-state movement of passenger vehicles and buses, as decided by the states and UTs.

In Lockdown 4.0, states have been given greater freedom in deciding which part of their state should be red, green and orange. In the containment zones, only essential activities shall be allowed. 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. Guidelines of the Health ministry shall be taken into consideration for the above purpose.

The Delhi government on Sunday said that, “Broadly, Centre’s guidelines are in the right direction of opening up the economy and leaving it to states to work out the details. We have always been saying that we all will now have to learn to live with Corona. We used the last two month lockdown period to prepare ourselves for dealing with corona by improving necessary logistics and health infra. We do expect a slight increase in cases when the economy reopens and Delhi is prepared to deal with it.” Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal added that a detailed plan for Delhi based on the Centre’s guidelines will be announced tomorrow.

Read the full text of the MHA guidelines for Lockdown 4.0: