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As India enters the third phase of COVID-19 lockdown extended from May 4 to May 17, in order to curb the rising cases of Coronavirus, certain restrictions across the country have been eased further. However, the decision has left people confused, as to what are they exactly allowed to do now and what is still restricted. By Tanvi Jain

 

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Some of the common questions troubling every individual these days are: 

Q1. Malls, theatres, shops, parlours, offices, online delivery – what all is open from now? 

Only standaloneneighbourhood and shops in residential areas are open and are allowed to sell both essential as well as non-essential goods, provided they follow the social distancing protocol. However, malls and shopping complexes will still remain shut. While in the red zone only essential goods can be ordered online, in orange and green zones, placing an online order even for non-essential goods is allowed. However, salons are still not allowed to operate in the red zone. Both private, as well as Government offices, are allowed to function with 33 per cent staff, with mandatory installation of Aarogya Setu App. However, services such as defence and security, fire and emergency, customs and municipal services, etc. can work without any restrictions. 

Q2. What about liquor and tobacco stores? 

Standalone liquor shops are allowed to function in all the three zones, but with at least six feet of social distancing from one another, and with only five customers at a time. However, the consumption of any kind of tobacco product and alcohol will not be allowed in public areas. 

Q3. Can I finally travel, at least within the city?

Essentials are of course available, but as far as non-essential goods are concerned, according to the new MHA guidelines, one can only move around to buy them between 7:00 am to 7:00 pm, not anytime later. However, different states and cities can impose restrictions as per their own guidelines depending upon the number of positive cases in the respective area.

 

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Q4. Can I finally take my car or two-wheeler out, or use public transport/book an Ola or Uber? 

Driving a car in a red zone is allowed for limited activities from 7 am to 7 pmbut with only two passengers at a time, however, those with a two-wheeler will have to travel alone, as pillion riding is still prohibited. Moreover, all kinds of public transport such as cycle-rickshaw, auto-rickshaw, bus, metro, are not yet allowed to operate in the red zone, while in orange zone, inter and intra district travel is allowed via a private vehicle, but with only three people — a driver and two passengers. However, the green zone has the freedom to run with 50 per cent passengers in buses. Moreover, Ola and Uber are still not allowed in the red zone, while in the orange zone you can take a cab and taxi, but with one driver and two passengers only. However, the green zone is fully functional. 

Q5. Missing my friends. Can I meet them? 

Despite the 7:00 am to 7:00 pm relief, the permission will again depend upon the state and city-specific guidelines. The Centre, however, has not permitted any social, political or religious gatherings yet. 

 

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Q6. Can factories, industries and construction sites resume work? 

Insite workers and those involved in renewable energy projects are allowed to resume work in the red zone, while there are no restrictions in green and orange zonesSimilarly, in the red zone, the production of essential goods, pharmaceuticals, IT hardware, jute, etc. is allowed, but with proper social distancing. However, there are no such restrictions in the orange and green zones. 

Q7. Can I call my domestic help or any self-employed serviceman like an electrician, plumber, carpenter, mechanic, etc.?

Yes. But not in any of the containment zones. Moreover, they will not only have to abide by the society specific rules but will also have to figure out a way to reach their employer’s home, because, public transport is not allowed.

Related: Lockdown 3.0: Did You Hear About These Travel Updates Yet?