The lockdown indeed slowed down the pace of life this year, making it a year that has indeed been one of a kind. There has, however, been its own set of confusion regarding the rules and regulations as the nation enters a state of Unlock – where the country gets back on track and resorts to a new definition of ‘Usual life’ however in a systematic and phased out manner.

Though the country has experienced a steady decline in the number of cases, it brings all the more reason for caution as the nature of this disease stands to be quite unpredictable, and chances are that if ignored, a second wave of the coronavirus can loom over the horizon.

The number of active cases, though decreased from 10 lakhs to 4.5 lakhs over the last couple of months, states all across the nation are reporting a rise in the number of cases, and that calls in for grave concern as the nation is just getting used to getting back on track.

Here is what a directive from the Ministry of Home Affairs deems to be Covid appropriate behaviour.

Covid appropriate behaviour as per MHA

  1. State/UT governments shall take all necessary precautions to enforce the wearing of masks, hand hygiene, and following social distancing protocol.
  2. Not wearing face masks will now attract a monetary fine, and states and UTs are considering undertaking such administrative actions against the breach of protocol.
  3. Social distancing will be observed in potentially crowded places especially markets, weekly bazaars, and even public transport.
  4. There will be a decontamination of containment zones so as to break the chain of transmission. Containment zones will be duly demarcated by the district authorities, and the help of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) will be taken in this regard.

Within containment zones

  1. Only essential activities will be allowed.
  2. There will be a strict perimeter control to ensure there is no movement of people in or out of these zones except for medical emergencies and supplying essential goods and services.
  3. Testings will be carried out as per protocol requirements.

Outside containment zones:

  1. International air travel of passengers as allowed by the MHA.
  2. Cinema halls and theatres with up to 50% capacity.
  3. Swimming pools will be only for the training of sportspersons.
  4. Exhibition halls only for business-to-business (B2B) purposes.
  5. Social/ religious/ sports/ entertainment/ educational/ cultural/ religious gatherings with up to a maximum of 50% of the hall capacity with a ceiling of 200 persons in closed spaces and keeping the size of the ground or space in view.

Protection of the vulnerable persons

Those above 65 years of age, persons with co-morbidities, pregnant women, and children below the age of 10 years are advised to stay at home, except for essential and health purposes.

Following are non-negotiable rules on behalf of the MHA

  1. Face covering at all time
  2. Social distancing – maintain 6 feet distance (do gaz ki doori)
  3. Spitting in public places will be punishable with a fine
  4. WFH to be followed as much as possible
  5. Screening and hygiene will be followed in offices, workplaces, shops, etc
  6. Frequent sanitization 

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