Home Ministry Issues New COVID-19 Guidelines To Be Effective From 1st February

Ministry of Home Affairs today issued new Guidelines for Surveillance, Containment and Caution of COVID-19. The guidelines will be effective from 1st of February and will remain in force upto 28th of February.The main focus of the Guidelines is to consolidate the substantial gains that have been achieved against COVID-19 over the last four months.The Home Ministry said, Containment Zones, if required, shall be carefully demarcated by the district authorities at the micro level, taking into consideration guidelines prescribed by the Health Ministry in this regard. State and Union Territory Governments will take all necessary measures to ensure wearing of face masks, hand hygiene and social distancing.As per the order, all activities have been permitted outside Containment Zones, except those which will be subject to strict adherence of Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs). It said, social, religious, sports, entertainment, educational, cultural and religious gatherings have already been permitted upto a maximum of 50 per cent of the hall capacity, with a ceiling of 200 persons in closed spaces and keeping of the size of the ground in open spaces. It said, now such gatherings will be allowed subject to SOP of the State and Union Territories concerned. Besides, Cinema halls and theatres have already been permitted upto 50 per cent of seating capacity and now they will be permitted to operate at higher seating capacity, for which a revised SOP will be issued by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting in consultation with the Home Ministry.The Home Ministry said, Swimming pools now will be permitted for use by all, for which a revised SOP will be issued by the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports in consultation with the Home Ministry.The Home Ministry said, for further opening up of international air travel of passengers, the Ministry of Civil Aviation may take a decision with its consultation based on the assessment of the situation.The Ministry said, there shall be no restriction on inter-State and intra-State movement of persons and goods including those for cross land-border trade under Treaties with neighbouring countries.The persons above 65 years of age, persons with co-morbidities, pregnant women, and children below the age of 10 years are advised to take necessary precautions. It said,use of Aarogya Setu mobile App will continue to be encouraged.