Severity: Critical Alert

Exit/Entry: Several areas in north India extend ban on nonessential activity through at least July 31; varied restrictions remain in other regions.

  • Alert Begins: 26 Jul 2020 12:19 PM UTC
  • Alert Expires: 04 Aug 2020 11:59 PM UTC
  • Incident: COVID-19 restrictions
  • Location(s): Chandigarh, Chhattisgarh, Delhi, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Ladakh, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh (map)
  • Time Frame: Indefinite
  • Impact: Movement controls, business and transport disruptions; increased security; possible clashes

Summary
As of July 26, most north Indian regions are maintaining revised coronavirus disease (COVID-19) measures. Limited public buses and private transport are operational, with social distancing measures, in areas outside of containment zones reporting COVID-19 clusters. Special intercity trains for stranded passengers and limited domestic flights are also permitted. Travelers from other states or countries will undergo a 14-day quarantine; symptomatic passengers will stay in a medical facility, while asymptomatic patients may be quarantined at home or in a government facility, according to local rules. Both essential and nonessential business operations have resumed, including some religious sites, shopping malls, dine-in restaurants, and hotels. Educational institutions, entertainment venues, and most public sites remain closed. All social, religious, and political gatherings are banned until further notice. Urban centers have reported no significant decrease in cases, delaying normalization. Current or planned measures include:

 

  • Chandigarh: A daily 2200-0500 curfew is in place through July 31. Business relaxations are ongoing, including in eateries and large retail centers such as shopping malls. Limited public transport is operational; no special permissions are required for interdistrict or interstate travel. Entrants to the state will be subject to a mandatory 14-day quarantine; however, asymptomatic passengers intending to stay for less than 72 hours are exempted from quarantine.

 

  • Chhattisgarh: Authorities are enforcing a statewide nightly 2200-0500 curfew through July 31. Officials are implementing a strict containment strategy in Bilaspur District through July 31, as well as in Baloda Bazar, Durg, Korba, Raigarh, Raipur, and Surguja districts until at least July 29. Entry and exit to such districts are limited to select transit points and for essential purposes only; officials have banned all public transport and nonessential private transport. Only essential businesses and industries will function; authorities are advising residents to stay home and use delivery services to the extent possible. Other areas may face similar restrictions if local cases rise in the coming days. Other noncontainment zones across the state are reopening businesses, transport, and public sites in a limited manner. Asymptomatic passengers entering the state may serve the mandatory 14-day quarantine at their residence.

 

  • Delhi: A nightly 2200-0500 curfew is in place at least through July. Noncontainment zones are reopening businesses, transport except Metro trains, and limited public sites. Interstate travel remains restricted to essential purposes, mainly due to restrictions by neighboring states such as Haryana and Uttar Pradesh. All international passengers entering Delhi must undergo a 7-day paid institutional quarantine followed by a 7-day home quarantine. Asymptomatic domestic passengers may serve the mandatory 14-day quarantine at their residence.

 

  • Haryana: A statewide nightly 2200-0500 curfew continues through at least July 31. Noncontainment zones across the state are reopening businesses, limited private and public transport services, and some public sites. Interstate travel is only allowed for essential purposes, and with prior permission. Officials may implement strict restrictions such as movement controls in the worst-affected districts, such as Faridabad, Gurugram, Mahendergarh, Panchkula, Panipat, Rewari, and Sonipat if local cases continue rising. Asymptomatic passengers entering the state, and planning to stay for over 72 hours, may serve the mandatory 14-day quarantine at their residence.

 

  • Himachal Pradesh: A statewide nightly 2100-0500 curfew continues through at least July 31. Nonessential activity is banned across Simaur District's Nahan through 0600 July 27, and the industrial area of Baddi-Barotiwala-Nalagarh in Solan District through 0600 July 28. Entry and exit is limited to essential purposes only; officials have banned all public transport and nonessential private transport. Only essential businesses will function; authorities are advising residents to stay home and use delivery services to the extent possible. Other areas may face similar restrictions if local cases rise in the coming days. Noncontainment zones across the state are reopening businesses, limited private and public transport services, and some public sites. Interstate travel is only allowed for essential purposes, and with prior permission. Asymptomatic passengers entering the state may serve the mandatory 14-day quarantine at their residence. Those staying in the state for less than 72 hours or with a negative COVID-19 RT-PCR test result obtained within 72 hours prior to arrival are exempted from quarantine.

 

  • Jammu and Kashmir: A statewide nightly 2200-0500 curfew continues through at least July 31. Nonessential activity is banned across districts in the Jammu Division, such as Jammu, Kathua, Rajouri, Ramban, Reasi, Samba, and Udhampur on weekends until further notice; restrictions will be in place from 1800 on Fridays through 0600 on Mondays. All districts of the Kashmir Valley except Bandipora are also under curfew through 0600 July 27. Entry and exit to mentioned areas are limited to essential purposes only; officials have banned all public transport and nonessential private transport. Only essential businesses will function; authorities are advising residents to stay home and use delivery services to the extent possible. Other areas may face similar restrictions if local cases rise in the coming days. Noncontainment zones across the state are reopening businesses, limited private and public transport services, and some public sites; further relaxations may be introduced temporarily for Eid al-Adha festivities July 31-Aug. 2. Interstate travel is only allowed via air and for those with prior permission and accommodation bookings. All passengers entering the state must undergo mandatory testing and serve institutional quarantine until results arrive.

 

  • Ladakh: A statewide nightly 2100-0500 curfew continues through at least July 31. Interstate transport remains restricted to those with prior online permission. Officials are advising residents to stay home and use delivery services to the extent possible. Noncontainment zones across the state are reopening businesses, public and private transport, and limited public sites. Asymptomatic passengers may serve the mandatory 14-day quarantine at their residence. Those entering for employment at approved firms from July 29 must produce a negative COVID-19 RT-PCR test result at entry.

 

  • Madhya Pradesh: A statewide nightly 2100-0500 curfew continues through at least July 31. The state is extending strict restrictions on all nonessential activity in the capital city of Bhopal through 0800 Aug. 4. Exit from and entry to the district are limited to those with online approval. Only essential and emergency movement of people and vehicles are allowed during curfews; all nonessential businesses must close. Interdistrict and interstate transport is allowed; no prior permission is required. Officials are advising residents to stay home and use delivery services to the extent possible. Other areas may face similar restrictions if local cases rise in the coming days. Noncontainment zones across the state are reopening businesses, transport, and limited public sites. Asymptomatic passengers may serve the mandatory 14-day quarantine at their residence.

 

  • Punjab: Curfews are in place daily 2200-0500, and every Sunday until further notice, except for Aug. 2-3 in light of Raksha Bandhan celebrations. Business relaxations are ongoing, including in eateries and large retail centers such as shopping malls. Limited public transport is operational; no special permissions are required for interdistrict or interstate travel. Entrants to the state will be subject to a mandatory 14-day quarantine; however, asymptomatic passengers intending to stay for less than 72 hours are exempted from quarantine.

 

  • Rajasthan: A statewide nightly 2100-0500 curfew continues through at least July 31. Limited intra-state transport is operational; public transport remains suspended as of July 26. Interstate transport remains restricted to those with prior online permission. Noncontainment zones across the state are reopening businesses and limited public sites. Asymptomatic passengers may serve the mandatory 14-day quarantine at their residence.

 

  • Uttarakhand: A statewide nightly 2100-0500 curfew continues through at least July 31. Nonessential activity is banned across Dehradun, Haridwar, Nainital, and Udham Singh Nagar
    districts on weekends until further notice. Noncontainment zones across the state are reopening businesses, public and private transport, and limited public sites. Some public and limited private intra-state transport is operational. Interstate transport is restricted to those with prior online registration. Entrants to the state must submit a negative COVID-19 RT-PCR test result obtained within 72 hours prior to arrival for quarantine exemption; others will undergo a 14-day mandatory quarantine at home or in a designated facility. Passengers from high-risk areas with significant cases such as Delhi and Mumbai will undergo a 7-day institutional quarantine followed by a 7-day home quarantine.

 

  • Uttar Pradesh: A statewide nightly 2200-0500 curfew continues through at least July 31. Nonessential activity is banned on weekends, from 2200 on Fridays through 0500 on Mondays, until further notice. Only essential and emergency movement of people and vehicles are allowed during curfews; emergency services, essential businesses, industries, private offices, public buses, and liquor shops will function. Officials are advising residents to stay home and use delivery services to the extent possible. Noncontainment zones across the state are reopening businesses, public and private transport, as well as limited public sites. Interstate transport is restricted to those with prior online permission. Entrants to the state may undergo mandatory 14-day quarantine at their residences if asymptomatic.

 


Local administration and police will continue to enforce and facilitate control measures. Emergency and utility services remain operational nationwide. While banks and businesses selling essential goods, such as fuel, food, and medicines, remain open in containment zones, officials will almost certainly regulate price, supply, and opening hours. Panic-buying and associated localized shortages of essential goods may occur in some areas. Sporadic clashes are possible if groups attempt to enforce business closures or defy official orders. Police may forcibly disperse unruly crowds. Violators may face legal action. Authorities could modify restrictions at short notice, mainly in major cities.

Nationwide restrictions, including the mandatory use of masks in public, the closure of public spaces, such as educational and entertainment venues, a ban on large gatherings, and suspension of non-repatriation international travel, continue. However, businesses and limited public transport can operate outside containment zones with hygiene and social distancing guidelines. A shortened 2200-0500 nightly curfew will continue nationwide with possible timing extensions by local authorities.

Background and Analysis
The measures adopted by the Indian government are similar to actions taken by other regional governments in recent days in response to the spread of COVID-19. COVID-19 is a viral respiratory disease caused by infection with the SARS-CoV-2 virus (previously known as 2019-nCoV). Symptoms occur 1-14 days following exposure (average of 3-7 days). These symptoms include fever, fatigue, cough, difficulty breathing, sometimes worsening to pneumonia and kidney failure - especially in those with underlying medical conditions. On March 11, the WHO declared the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic.

Advice
Follow all official instructions; minimize outdoor activity to the extent possible. Abide by national health and safety measures. Reconfirm business appointments, deliveries, work, and travel arrangements. Do not check out of accommodation without confirming onward travel. Consider delaying traveling if experiencing symptoms associated with COVID-19, as they may prompt increased scrutiny and delays. Liaise with trusted contacts for further updates and guidance. Maintain contact with your diplomatic representation. Ensure contingency plans account for further disruptive measures or extensions of current restrictions. Reconsider and reconfirm nonemergency health appointments. Ensure access to essential items, plan for queues, and delays at available shopping centers. Carry proper identification documents and heed all security advisories.

Emphasize basic health precautions, especially frequent handwashing with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are unavailable. Practice good coughing/sneezing etiquette (i.e., covering coughs and sneezes with a disposable tissue, maintaining distance from others, and washing hands). There is no evidence that the influenza vaccine, antibiotics, or antiviral medications will prevent this disease, highlighting the importance of diligent basic health precautions.


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