New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: The Centre today told the states and union territories that they “cannot dilute the restrictions imposed despite widespread relaxations” during the fourth phase of lockdown which kicked in from today till May 31.

"As emphasized in my earlier letters, I would like to reiterate again that States and Union Territories cannot dilute restrictions imposed vide the aforesaid guidelines issued by MHA," Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla said in a letter to state chief secretaries. 

"States and UTs, based on their assessment of the situation, may prohibit certain other activities in various zones, or impose such restrictions as deemed necessary."

"I would urge you to ensure compliance of the new guidelines, and direct all concerned authorities for their strict implementation," Bhalla said.

He said that under the new guidelines effective from Monday, states and UTs will now categorise red, orange and green zones taking into consideration the revised guidelines issued by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on Sunday.

The ongoing countrywide lockdown was extended till May 31 by the National Disaster Management Authority.
New guidelines on lockdown measures have been issued in supersession of earlier lockdown orders, except the Standing Operating Procedures (SOPs) issued on the movement of persons.

These guidelines have been issued after taking into consideration the views of the state governments following the video conference held by the Prime Minister with the Chief Ministers on May 11, Bhalla said.

The home secretary said states and union territories (UTs) will now categorise red, orange and green zones and inside the red and orange zones, containment and buffer zones will be identified by the district administration and local urban bodies with technical inputs at local level and by taking into consideration the health ministry guidelines.

Within the containment zones, strict perimeter control shall be maintained, and no movement of people would be allowed across the zones, except for medical emergencies and for maintaining supply of essential goods and services, the letter said. The home secretary said a limited number of activities will continue to remain prohibited throughout the country.

In order to facilitate the movement of people, various modes of transport have already been opened up as per SoPs issued by MHA and all other activities will be permitted except those which are specifically prohibited under these guidelines. However, in containment zones, only essential activities shall be allowed, as mentioned earlier.

Posted By: Abhinav Gupta