New COVID-19 guidelines will be effective from today — here's all you need to know

New COVID-19 guidelines will be effective from today — here's all you need to know
BCCL
  • The Central Ministry of Home Affairs has issued new guidelines to contain the spread of the coronavirus. The ministry said the guidelines will be effective from December 1.
  • The guidelines allow states to impose local restrictions like night curfews but no lockdown, outside containment zones, without consulting the centre.
  • State authorities can also impose appropriate fines on people for not wearing masks and adhering to social distancing norms.
Amid the rising COVID-19 cases across various Indian states, the Central Ministry of Home Affairs has issued new guidelines in order to contain the spread of the virus. The ministry said the guidelines will be effective from December 1 and will remain in force till the end of the year 2020.

The guidelines allow states to impose local restrictions like night curfews but no lockdown, outside containment zones, without consulting the centre. There are no restrictions on inter-state and intra-state movements and no additional passes or registration will be required for that.

The guidelines have mandated states and UTs to strictly enforce the COVID regulations in the containment zones and COVID-appropriate behaviour to regulate crowds.

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The ministry in its order said "the main focus of the guidelines is to consolidate the substantial gains that have been achieved against the spread of COVID-19 which is visible in the steady decline in the number of active cases in the country."

These are the highlights from the MHA guidelines:

Local restrictions
  • The guidelines allow states and local authorities to impose local restrictions such as night curfew based on their assessment of the situation.
  • However, the government shall not impose any local lockdown, outside the containment zones, without prior consultation with the centre.
  • Social distancing measures should be implemented in offices and in cities, where the weekly case positivity rate is in more than 10%
  • Authorities can consider implementing staggered office timings and other suitable measures, to reduce the number of employees attending office at the same time.
  • No restrictions on inter-state and intra-state movements and no additional passes or registration will be required for that.
COVID-appropriate behaviour
  • States and UTs should ensure strict enforcement of wearing of face masks, hand hygiene and social distancing must be followed.
  • State authorities can impose appropriate fines on people for not wearing masks and adhering to social distancing norms.
  • Social distancing guidelines should also be strictly followed in crowded places, especially in markets, weekly bazaars and public transport.
Surveillance and Containment
  • States and UTs to ensure critical demarcation of containment zones at the micro level, taking into consideration the guidelines prescribed by the Ministry of Health.
  • Only essential activities shall be allowed in the Containment Zones.
  • The authorities must ensure that there is no movement of people in or out of these zones, except for medical emergencies and supply of essential goods.
  • Testing shall be carried out as per prescribed protocol
  • Tracing of contacts shall be carried out in respect of all persons found positive.
  • Quick isolation of COVID-19 patients shall be ensured in treatment facilities/ home.
  • Local district authorities and police will be responsible to ensure that the prescribed containment measures are strictly followed.
The use of Aarogya Setu mobile application will continue to be encouraged.
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