New guidelines by MHA allow agri and fisheries after April 20, encourage online teaching

While previous guidelines remain unchanged, transport of all goods has been permitted, allowing certain sectors of economy to restart operation, indicating a step towards returning to normalcy


Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his address to the nation on April 14, mentioned that the lockdown will be extended until May 3 and that consolidated guidelines will be issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) which will be followed through the extended lockdown period.

As the Disaster Management Act remains invoked, the Chairperson of the National Executive Committee, who is also the Home Secretary, Ajay Bhalla, wrote an intimation to all states and Union Territories stating that all guidelines issued by the MHA are to be followed and implemented strictly, without any dilutions.

The Letter of the Home Secretary may be read here

The consolidated guidelines have been issued today by the MHA, and have special provisions for operation of guidelines in hotspots and containment zones. There are also provisions for permitted activities from April 20. Some relevant guidelines which will be applicable until May 3, are as follows: 

Transport and travel:

1.       No air travel, either domestic or international is permitted

2.       All movement of trains restricted

3.       Buses, metro remain suspended

4.       All inter district and inter state movement of individuals prohibited, except for some contingencies

5.       Taxis, rickshaws, cab aggregators shall not function

About hotpots and containment zones

Strict perimeter control in containment zones and activities other permitted under these guidelines will not be permitted in the containment zones. No unchecked movement of people except for essential services

Activities permitted from April 20

  1. All health services to remain functional including pharmacy labs, medical labs, dispensaries, chemists, hospitals, nursing homes, veterinary hospitals (and related), manufacturing units of drugs and medicines, movement of health care personnel

  2. Agricultural and horticultural activities like working in the field; Mandis operated by APMC; shops of farm machinery and spare parts; sale of fertilizers, pesticides and seeds; movement of harvesting machines

  3. Fishing and related industry including feeding maintenance, harvesting, cold chain, sale and marketing, hatcheries, commercial aquaria; movement of fish and fish products, fish feed and workers for these activities

  4. Tea, coffee, rubber plantations can operate as well as processing, packaging, sale and marketing of same, along with cashew (all with 50% workers only)

  5. Animal husbandry farms, poultry farms, livestock farming, animal feed manufacturing, including supply of raw material, operation of animal shelter homes

  6. Dairy: collection, processing distribution and sale of milk and milk products including transport and supply chain.

  7. MGNREGA work allowed with implementation of social distancing and wearing of masks, with priority given to irrigation and water conservation related work

  8. Banking sector to remain functional as before, including banks, SEBI, RBI, IRDAI

  9. Shelter homes for children/disabled, senior citizens, women, destitute and such other will remain functional

  10. Educational institutions expected to maintain academic schedule through online teaching.

  11. Public utilities to remain functional as before, including oil and gas sector, transmissions of power, postal services, water supply, sanitation sectors, municipal bodies, telecom sectors

  12. All goods traffic will be allowed

  13. All rail and air transport for transport of goods allowed, as well as sea ports. Movement of trucks will be allowed, also shops for truck repairs and dhabas on highways.

  14. All facilities involved in delivering essential goods and services allowed as before, including kirana shops, groceries, PDS, milk booths and such other, with no restriction on their timing of operation.  

The rest of the guidelines may be read here.

The MHA has further issued National Directive for COVID19 management, under the Disaster Management Act which is to be enforced by the respective District Magistrates 

  1. Wearing of face mask in public places has been made mandatory
  2. Gatherings of more than 5 persons in pub places prohibited
  3. Gatherings such as funerals and marriages to be regulated by the DM
  4. Strict ban on sale of liquor, tobacco.
  5. Work places to make adequate arrangements for temperature screening and provide sanitizers
  6. Work places to have staggered lunch breaks to ensure social distancing
  7. Use of Aarogya setu app to be encouraged for all employees, private and public
  8. Large meetings prohibited
  9. Sanitization of workplace
  10. Make available list of nearby COVID19 treatment hospitals  


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