New Covid guidelines from Dec 1

MHA allows local restrictions

NEW DELHI, Nov 25: Amid a spurt in Coronavirus cases in some regions, the Centre on Wednesday said states and union territories can impose local restrictions like night curfew to check the spread of Covid-19 but made it clear that they will have to consult on it before imposing any lockdown outside the containment zones.

The guidelines said that keeping in view the recent spike in new cases in a few states and UTs, ongoing festival season and onset of winter, it is emphasised that to fully overcome the pandemic there is a need to maintain caution and strictly follow the prescribed containment strategy.

The containment strategy should be focussed on surveillance, containment and strict observance of the guidelines and SOPs issued by the MHA and the Ministry of Health, they said.

The guidelines will be effective from 1 to 31 December.

The ministry said that local district, police and municipal authorities shall be responsible to ensure that the prescribed containment measures are strictly followed.

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 will 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.

The guidelines were enclosed with a list of 19 SOPs that have been issued from time to time to regulate the activities that have been permitted.

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.

According to the guidelines, states 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.

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. (PTI)