Today, the fourth phase of lockdown begins which was issued by the Centre through a notification on Sunday. The government declared to extend the curbs for two more weeks till May 31. Prime Minister Narendra Modi while addressing the nation earlier clearly stated that lockdown 4.0 is going to be different from the previous three phases.

According to the home ministry guidelines, all the states and union territories were given the power to designate the colour-code zones as per the incidents of coronavirus and thereby taking a final decision on what activities are allowed in that particular area. However, the centre has allowed buses and other vehicles to run.

The states will decide the red, green, orange, containment zones and buffer zones. But, it has not given permission to resume the activities of big gatherings, gyms, cinemas, swimming pools, metro rail,  and air travel. Large gatherings including religious, cultural, political, sports will not be permitted, ordered the government.

In the new guidelines for lockdown 4.0, the home ministry has allowed the resumption of app-based cab services. Shops, markets, and commercial establishments except malls, were allowed to open. Centre eased curbs on private offices that were previously allowed to function with 33% workforce. But, no economic activity will not be allowed within the containment zones, which has a high incidence of coronavirus cases. 

All the activities will be allowed from 7 am to 7 pm and there will be a curfew from 7 pm to 7 am. Meanwhile, the government said that vulnerable persons, meaning those above 65 and children below 10, pregnant women or people with chronic illness should not go outside. The centre further said that the practice of work from home should be followed to the extent possible. 

The centre mandates some guidelines during the lockdown phase. Anyone in the public places must cover the face with a mask. Social distancing must be maintained in  markets, workplaces, public transport and ceremonies like marriages etc. As per the rules and regulations, spitting in public and workplaces will be punishable. Marriage functions were allowed but not more than 50 guests while funerals and last rites shall not be attended by more than 20 people. India has recorded a total 96,159 cases with 3029 deaths till now.

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