MHA guidelines: Local restrictions like night curfew allowed; Prior consultation with Centre needed for any lockdown outside containment zones

The state and UT governments will take all necessary measures to promote COVID-19 appropriate behaviour and to ensure strict enforcement of wearing of face masks, hand hygiene and social distancing. In order to enforce the core requirement of wearing of face masks, authorities may consider administrative actions, including the imposition of appropriate fines, on persons not wearing face masks in public and workspaces.


New Delhi:

States and union territories can impose local restrictions like night curfew to check the spread of COVID-19, but they will have to consult the Centre before imposing any lockdown outside the containment zones, the Ministry of Home Affairs said on Wednesday.

The guidelines will be effective from December 1 to December 31. 

While issuing guidelines for "Surveillance, Containment and Caution" for December, the MHA said the main focus of the directive is to consolidate the substantial gains that have been achieved against the spread of COVID-19 that are visible in the steady decline in the number of active cases in the country.

The guidelines said that keeping in view the recent spike in new cases in a few states and UTs, ongoing festival season and onset of winter, it is emphasised that to fully overcome the pandemic there is a need to maintain caution and to strictly follow the prescribed containment strategy.

The containment strategy should be focussed on surveillance, containment and strict observance of the guidelines and SOPs issued by the MHA and Ministry of Health, they said.

"States and UTs, based on their assessment of the situation, may impose local restrictions, with a view to contain the spread of COVID-19 such as night curfew.

"However, state and UT governments shall not impose any local lockdown (state/ district/ sub-division/City level), outside the containment zones, without prior consultation with the central government," the guidelines said.

It added that quick isolation of COVID-19 patients will be ensured in treatment facilities/ home (subject to fulfilling the home isolation guidelines). Clinical interventions, as prescribed, will be administered. Surveillance for ILI/ SARI cases shall be carried out in health facilities or outreach mobile units or through fever clinics in buffer zones.

Awareness will be created in communities on COVID-19 appropriate behaviour. Local district, police and municipal authorities will be responsible to ensure that the prescribed Containment measures are strictly followed and State/ UT Governments will ensure the accountability of the officers concerned in this regard.

The state and UT governments will take all necessary measures to promote COVID-19 appropriate behaviour and to ensure strict enforcement of wearing of face masks, hand hygiene and social distancing. In order to enforce the core requirement of wearing of face masks, authorities may consider administrative actions, including the imposition of appropriate fines, on persons not wearing face masks in public and workspaces.


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