New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on Sunday evening issued guidelines for the fourth phase of the coronavirus lockdown after the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) asked the states to extend the restrictions till May 31.

In its order, the Home Ministry said that all domestic and international air travel of passengers, except domestic air ambulance will remain prohibited till May 31. It further said that metro rail services will also remain closed.

Schools, colleges, hotels, restaurants, cinema halls, malls, swimming pools and gyms will also remain closed while adding that all social, political, religious functions and places of worship will remain shut.

Also Read | Lockdown 4.0: Here is what's allowed and what's not from May 18 | Complete list of MHA guidelines

Inter-state movement of passenger vehicles, buses will be allowed with mutual consent of states involved during COVID-19 lockdown 4.0, the Home Ministry said.

"With a view to ensuring safety in offices and workplaces, employers on best effort basis should ensure that Arogya Setu is installed by all employees having compatible mobile phones," it said.

The MHA issued guidelines after the NDMA directed states to extend lockdown by two more weeks. The NDMA, in exercise of powers under Section 6 (2) (i) of the Disaster Management Act, 2005, hereby directs the ministries and departments of the Government of India, state governments and state authorities to continue the lockdown measures up to May 31, NDMA member secretary G V V Sarma said.

Also Read | Lockdown 4.0: Inter-state movement of vehicles, buses to be allowed; metro rail services, air travel to remain shut till May 31

The authority further directs the National Executive Committee, headed by the Union Home Secretary, to issue modifications in the guidelines as necessary, keeping in view the need to open up economic activities while containing the spread of COVID-19, the order said.

The lockdown was first announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on March 24 for 21 days with effect from March 25. It was then extended till May 3 and again till May 17. Then on Tuesday, PM Modi announced that the lockdown will be continued post May 17. He, however, said that it will not be the same as its predecessors and the government will ease the restrictions.

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma