5 Questions On New Lockdown Guidelines Answered
As the lockdown due to coronavirus gets extended, the Ministry of Home Affairs has issued a fresh set of rules and relaxations effective 20 April
A day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that the lockdown will be extended until 3 May, a new set of guidelines on essential services and exemptions has been released by the MHA on Wednesday.
However, places identified as ‘containment zones’ will not see any relaxation in rules.
As you try to navigate through the fresh guidelines, which will be effective 20 April onwards, we try to answer some of the FAQs.
1. I have been ordering groceries through online delivery apps but it is taking time. Will the situation improve delivery speeds?
In all likelihood, things should improve over the next few weeks. The new guidelines issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) have tried to address the bottlenecks in the supply chain, like trucks being stopped at borders.
There is a special focus on truck movement—movement of trucks with two drivers and one helper is allowed.
According to the new guidelines, “an empty truck/vehicle will be allowed to ply after the delivery of goods, or for pick up of goods”.
Further, the government has allowed e-commerce companies to operate at full strength. “Vehicles used by e-commerce operators will be allowed to ply with necessary permissions,” say the guidelines.
2. Can I take my dog/cat to the pet clinic/vet?
Yes, you can.
While the first set of guidelines issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs on 24 March did not mention veterinary hospitals and clinics under exempted and essential services, the central government, in a revised order on 27 March, had allowed them to remain operational.
The fresh guidelines issued by the MHA on Wednesday have iterated that “veterinary hospitals, dispensaries, clinics, pathology labs, sale and supply of vaccine and medicine” will remain functional.
3. Can I finally get my leaking tap fixed? Are services such as plumbing and electrical repairs included under the new guidelines?
The revised guidelines categorically mention that services provided by self-employed people, like electricians, plumbers, carpenters, car mechanics, are exempted.
So yes, you can ask your local plumber to visit your home after 20 April, should you need their service. If you live in a residential complex, it is best to check with the RWA once before you call in someone from outside.
4. Will courier services resume anytime soon?
Yes. According to the new guidelines, courier services will start functioning from 20 April. Postal services will also resume and post offices will remain open.
5. Will hotels and home-stay facilities run under the new guidelines?
Hospitality services will continue to remain suspended till 3 May. Like the first set of guidelines issued on 24 March, this one too makes an exception for those hotels, home-stays, lodges and motels that are “accommodating tourists and persons stranded due to lockdown, medical and emergency staff, air and sea crew”.