Coronavirus Lockdown 4.0: E-commerce allowed outside containment zones


Delivery of products in the red zones is expected to start from tomorrow onwards and will be made operational in accordance with MHA & state-specific guidelines, the company said.

Amid increasing chaos and confusion around conducting the final year examinations for college and university students, the Maharashtra Students' Union (MASU) has written a letter to CM Uddhav Thackeray and Higher and Technical Education Minister of state Uday Samant demanding cancellation of the exams.

However, the Centre said that the night curfew will remain prohibited between 7 PM and 7 AM and authorities will ensure strict compliance.

The delineation of Red, Green and Orange Zones will be decided by the respective State and UT Governments, after taking into consideration the parameters shared by Ministry of Health & Family Welfare (MoHFW), Government of India (Gol).

Inter-State movement of vehicles and buses has also been allowed with the mutual consent of the concerned States/ UTs.

In the order, issued by the Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla to the Chief Secretaries of all states and UTs, it is mentioned that states and UTs cannot dilute restrictions imposed in the MHA guidelines and can only make them stricter based on the local level assessment and the Health Ministry guidelines.

All domestic and worldwide air travel of passengers, except for domestic medical services, domestic air ambulance and for security purposes or purposes as permitted by MHA. More on Covid-19The 33% limit on attendance in private workplaces in red zones has been done away with, though the national directives on Covid-19 management require work from home to be followed as far as possible.

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The government on Sunday said e-commerce platforms can deliver essential and non-essential items to all places outside containment zones.

Further, evacuation of foreign nationals from India, the return of stranded Indian nationals from overseas, sign-on and sign-off of Indian seafarers, and intra-State and inter-State movement of stranded persons by bus and train, will continue to be allowed.

In the first two phases of the lockdown (that started from 25 March), e-commerce companies were allowed to sell only essential items like grocery, healthcare and pharmaceutical products. In workplaces, social distancing would also need to be ensured through the adequate distancing between workers, adequate gaps between shifts, staggering the lunch break of staff, and so on.

With a view to ensuring safety in offices and work places, employers on best effort basis should ensure that Aarogya Setu is installed by all employees having compatible mobile phones. However, some industry players say they are waiting for states' decision on the matter.

As per the guidelines, the hotels, restaurants, cinema halls, malls, swimming pools, gyms will continue to remain shut till May 31. The zones can be a district, or a municipal corporation/ municipality or even smaller administrative units such as sub-divisions, etc, as decided by States and UTs.

Centre has allowed district authorities to identify containment and buffer zones.

Marriage-related gathering shall ensure social distancing, and the maximum number of guests allowed shall not be more than 50. Buffer zones are areas around each containment zone, where new cases are more likely to appear and where more caution needs to be exercised. "This will facilitate timely provision of medical attention to those individuals who are at risk", the home ministry said.