The Government has been issuing numerous advisories, notifications and relaxations to enable companies to face the hardships caused by the spread of COVID-19 and equip them to better handle the situation. The Courts have also been very proactive in granting various reliefs. In this section, we give you ready access to some of the key Government notifications, advisories, court orders and notices released this week.

25 November 2020

MHA issues guidelines for surveillance, containment and caution (effective till 31 December 2020)

The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has issued a revised set of guidelines in respect of the COVID-19 pandemic geared towards surveillance, containment and caution, which will be applicable till 31 December 2020. As per the Press Release of the MHA, the States/Union Territories have been mandated to strictly enforce containment measures, SOPs on various activities and COVID-appropriate behavior and exercise caution and regulate crowds. Some of the highlights of the MHA guidelines are as follows:

  1. Within the demarcated Containment Zones, containment measures, as prescribed by Ministry of Health & Family Welfare (MOHFW), to be scrupulously followed, such as:
    • Only essential activities to be allowed in the Containment Zones.
    • Strict perimeter control to ensure that there is no movement of people in or out of these zones, except for medical emergencies and for maintaining supply of essential goods and services.
    • Intensive house-to-house surveillance.
    • Testing as per prescribed protocol.
    • Listing of contacts to be carried out in respect of all persons found positive, along with their tracking, identification, quarantine and follow up of contacts for 14 days (80% of contacts to be traced in 72 hours).
    • Quick isolation of COVID-19 patients to be ensured in treatment facilities/ home (subject to fulfilling the home isolation guidelines).
    • Surveillance for ILI/ SARI cases to be carried out in health facilities or outreach mobile units or through fever clinics in buffer zones.
    • Awareness to be created in communities on COVID-19 appropriate behaviour.
  2. In order to enforce the core requirement of wearing of face masks, States and UTs may consider administrative actions, including imposition of appropriate fines, on persons not wearing face masks in public and work spaces.
  3. All activities have been permitted outside Containment Zones, except for the following, which have been permitted with certain restrictions:
    • International air travel of passengers, as permitted by MHA.
    • Cinema halls and theatres, with upto 50% capacity.
    • Swimming pools, only for training of sports persons.
    • Exhibition halls, only for business to business (B2B) purposes.
    • Social/ religious/ sports/ entertainment/ educational/ cultural/ religious gatherings, with upto a maximum of 50% of the hall capacity, with a ceiling of 200 persons in closed spaces; and keeping of the size of the ground/ space in view, in open spaces.
  4. There will 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. No separate permission/ approval/e-permit will be required for such movements.

Please click here for the MHA guidelines for surveillance, containment and caution.

Please click here for the Press Release.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.