Major relaxations including resumption of domestic flight, metro and buses likely in Lockdown 4.0: Sources

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New Delhi: As the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has been busy in giving final touch to the guidelines for Lockdown 4.0, to be announce by tonight or by Sunday morning, it is likely that the transport activities such as resumption of domestic flight operations, metro, buses and even plying of auto rickshaw in limited manner with strict adherence to measures relating to social distancing, wearing of face mask, will be allowed in this phase.
According to the Government sources, re-opening of shopping centres and malls are also on cards with the social distancing norms.
The sources indicated that the next phase of ‘much-relaxed lockdown would be of another two weeks and plans are afoot to allow barber shops, restaurants, local markets and home appliance repairing shops to open in the green and orange.
In case of districts falling under red zone, the sources said that the new guidelines are likely to specify localise ‘containment zone’ and in the rest of the district some relaxed norms may be provided to ease the existing strictness.
The sources also indicated that the entire Government set along with administrative heads have been deliberating to bring in some kind of normalcy after nearly two months of COVID-19 induced lockdown, which has brought the country to an unprecedented halt. The third phase of lockdown is going to end on Sunday.

To formalize the guidelines for lockdown 4.0, the Union Home Minister Amit Shah has been holding several rounds of meetings with senior officials of his Ministry since Friday whereas the Prime Minister Narednra Modi held a coordination meeting with the Home Minister, senior officials of the PMO including his advisor PK Mishra and Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba.

“Many of the States have sent their suggestions to the Centre and have mooted for continuation of lockdown at least till May end under National Disaster Management Act (NDMA). The Ministry has taken note of them and working out a detailed guidelines keeping in mind both risk to life and livelihood”, a senior Home Ministry official said.
The official, however, said that some States have supported extension of the lockdown but most of them have asked for easing restrictions as well as more autonomy in deciding demarcation of areas as red, green, orange zones, which as of now is determined by the Centre.
The MHA is specifically considering the suggestions of Delhi Government which has proposed opening of markets, shopping complexes and operation of buses and metro services with strict social distancing norms, the sources said, while indicating resumption of construction activities in the national capital may be permitted.
The States like Bihar, Jharkhand, Odisha have urged the Centre to extend the lockdown till the end of this month besides keeping air and rail traffic, other than Shramik Special trains, suspended during the period in view of the situation that has emerged following the return of migrants to Bihar from across the country on a large scale.
The West Bengal Government, which has been on loggerheads with the Centre on various points, has decided to support Home Ministry’s decision to extend the lockdown but also wants the States to be allowed to decide on relaxations in their respective areas.