Coronavirus: States begin to 'unlock' with tailor-made keys

Last Updated 01 June 2020, 05:12 IST

A day after the Centre issued detailed guidelines for Unlock 1.0 — a graded exit plan with limited lockdown in containment zones — nearly a dozen states on Sunday came out with regulations tailored to suit their needs.

Many of them exercised discretion in modifying the central guidelines even as they announced the extension of lockdown till June 30 in containment zones.

Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Manipur were quick to extend curbs, while Left-ruled Kerala said it will take a view on the new guidelines on Monday.

The guidelines require the states and Union Territories to assess the spread of Covid-19 and accordingly prohibit certain activities outside the containment zones or impose restrictions wherever necessary.

While the Centre has gone ahead with its decision to run 200 regular trains from June 1, Maharashtra, Jharkhand and Andhra Pradesh have once again expressed reservations about the move. The matter is under discussion with the Centre.

Uttar Pradesh has decided that all its shops will remain open from 9 am to 9 pm in Lockdown 5.0, while the Centre had modified night curfew timings from 9 pm to 5 am. Also, while the Centre has removed the bar on inter-state travel, saying no permits will be required for the movement of people and goods, UP has put restrictions on travel from hotspot Delhi to Noida (Gautam Budh Nagar) and Ghaziabad. Barring essential services, all other travelling will require passes.

Wedding halls in UP can function with a cap of 30 people, but the state — which has a gun culture in many of its districts — has issued strict instructions against carrying weapons for celebratory firing.

Tamil Nadu, which did away with e-pass to travel within different zones in the state, has made it mandatory for journey outside the zones and for those coming from neighbouring states. Also, while the Centre has allowed religious places and places of worship to open from June 8, the AIADMK government has decided that the temples in the state will remain shut till June 30.

Similarly, hotels, restaurants and other hospitality services — except those accommodating health, police personnel and government staff for quarantine purposes — will remain shut in Tamil Nadu.

Telangana has not allowed shops/establishments after 8 pm, though the central guidelines don't mandate this. The state has, however, gone with the Centre's norms on no restriction on inter-state movement of persons and no separate permission for such movements. The lockdown will continue in containment zones till June 30, while in other zones it will end on June 7.

West Bengal has decided to extend the lockdown till June 15 with several relaxations in areas under Category C (clear areas) and Category B (buffer areas). However, previous restrictions in areas under Category A (affected areas) will continue. Inter-district movement (within the state) of government and private buses will be allowed from June 1.

In West Bengal, all places of religious worship, except those in affected areas, will be allowed to open from June 1 itself with not more than 10 people at time. Indoor and outdoor activities of TV and cinema productions with not more than 35 people shall be allowed from June 1.

The worst-affected Maharashtra has taken baby steps towards easing lockdown in non-containment zones. From June 5, all markets and shops, except malls and shopping plazas, will reopen on one side of the road on odd-even dates with several conditions from 9 am to 5 pm.

Bihar is yet to act on the Centre’s directives to ‘unlock’ from June 8 and give more relaxations. Jammu & Kashmir has decided to continue with the guidelines and instructions in operation in the Union Territory till June 8.

Rajasthan is not enthused by the Centre's decision to allow hotels from June 8, and has decided that restaurants, clubhouses (excluding sports facilities), and other hospitality services, eateries (except home deliveries and takeaways which are already permitted) will remain closed.

(With inputs from E T B Sivapriyan, Mrityunjay Bose, Zuflikar Majid, Arjun Raghunath, Soumya Das, Abhay Kumar, Prasad Nichenametla, Sumir Karmakar and Sanjay Pandey)

(Published 31 May 2020, 17:58 IST)

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