Centre Extends Lockdown Until May 17th; Relaxations For Green, Orange Zones

1 May, 2020 20:09 IST|Sakshi
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NEW DELHI: At a time when it was least expected, the Narendra Modi government at the Centre on Friday extended the ongoing nationwide coronavirus lockdown by two more weeks after May 4. As a result, the lockdown will be in effect till May 17th but with considerable relaxations in districts that are classified as green and orange zones.

The Centre deciding to enforce complete lockdown in red zones while coming up with relaxations for green and orange zones is being viewed as a quiet move to open the window for a slow and gradual return of normalcy in the country.

The decision followed a high-level meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at his residence earlier in the day.

The home ministry has issued a new set of guidelines to streamline various activities in this period, based on the risk potential of the districts in the country and classifying them into red (hotspot), green and orange zones.

A note released by the MHA said that there would be considerable relaxations in the districts falling in the Green and Orange Zones.

As part of the latest guidelines, a few activities will remain prohibited across the country regardless of what zone the areas are in.

In a bit of disappointment to those willing to resume commuting, travel by air, rail, metro and inter-state movement by road will remain prohibited.

This apart, schools, colleges and other educational and training and coaching institutions, hospitality services that include hotels and restaurants, places of large public gatherings like cinema halls, malls, gyms and sports complexes will also stay shut.

The government will also not permit social, political, cultural and other types of gatherings. Religious places and places of worship will also come under this restriction.

However, movement of people by air, rail and road will be permitted for some select purposes and for reasons that the home ministry may permit.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had earlier extended the 21-day nationwide lockdown which began on March 25 and was to end on April 14 till May 3 to contain the spread of novel coronavirus.

Meanwhile, all six metros - Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Bengaluru and Ahmedabad - have been declared red zones by the Centre on Friday. The cities are likely to see no exemptions from the ministry's rules after the second phase of the lockdown ends on May 3.

The ministry has also split 733 districts into red, orange and green zones based on the severity of COVID-19 infections in each of these areas.

Also Read: All Six Metros Declared Red Zones; 4 Districts In AP, 6 In Telangana In Red

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