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.

MHA issues guidelines for surveillance, containment and caution (effective till 28 February 2021)

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 28 February 2021. The main focus of the Guidelines is to consolidate the substantial gains that have been achieved against the spread of COVID-19 which is visible in the steady decline in number of active and new cases in the country over the last four months.

The MHA has emphasised strict adherence to the prescribed SOPs. All activities have been permitted outside Containment Zones, except for the following, which will be subject to strict adherence of SOPs, as indicated below:

- Social/ religious/ sports/ entertainment/ educational/ cultural/ religious gatherings have already been permitted up to 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. Now such gatherings will be allowed subject to SOP of the State/ UT concerned.

- Cinema halls and theatres have already been permitted up to 50% of seating capacity. Now they will be permitted to operate at higher seating capacity, for which a revised SOP will be issued by Ministry of Information & Broadcasting in consultation with MHA.

- Swimming pools have already been permitted for use of sports persons. Now swimming pools will be permitted for use of all, for which a revised SOP will be issued by Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports (MoYA&S) in consultation with MHA.

- Business to Business (B2B) exhibition halls have already been permitted. Now all types of exhibition halls will be permitted, for which a revised SOP will be issued by the Department of Commerce in consultation with MHA.

- For further opening up of international air travel of passengers, Ministry of Civil Aviation (MOCA) may take a decision in consultation with Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) based on the assessment of the situation.

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.