States in north India gradually reducing COVID-19 restrictions through at least Oct. 31; varied restrictions remain in other regions.
Alert Begins 12 Oct 2020 06:43 AM UTC
Alert Expires 31 Oct 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
Officials in north India are modifying coronavirus disease (COVID-19) restrictions as of Oct. 12. While businesses and transport services are largely operational across the region, strict controls on nonessential activity will continue in areas with a significant number of COVID-19 cases through at least Oct. 31. Under these measures, movement from affected areas remains restricted only to select transit points and for essential purposes. All public transport and nonessential private transport remain banned. Businesses - mainly those providing essential services - may operate with minimal numbers of employees. Residents must stay home and use delivery services to the extent possible.
Other nationwide measures continue until further notice. Limited public buses and most private transport are operational, with social distancing measures, outside containment zones with COVID-19 clusters. Metro train services have been operational since Sept. 7. Officials are also permitting limited domestic and international flights, as well as special intercity trains for stranded passengers. Travelers from other states or countries will typically undergo a 14-day quarantine at home or in a government facility, depending on medical screening and local rules; international arrivals with a negative COVID-19 test result and short-term domestic visitors may be exempt from quarantine. People must wear facemasks in public and practice social distancing. The ongoing ban on large gatherings, as well as closure of educational institutions, most sports facilities, and entertainment venues continue; local authorities may allow indoor gatherings of up to 200 people and the reopening of entertainment venues from Oct. 15. Businesses must utilize telecommuting to the extent possible. Officials are also advising vulnerable groups who are younger than 10 years old or older than 65 years, and pregnant women and those with existing health conditions, to avoid nonessential outdoor activity. Urban centers are reporting slow or no significant decrease in cases, delaying normalization. Current or planned measures include:
- Chandigarh: Authorities have lifted the night curfew, which had been in effect 2200-0500. Rotational closures of shops in major markets are no longer applicable. Most businesses are functioning with a reduced workforce and social distancing measures. Limited public transport is operational; interstate bus services have resumed to Punjab and Haryana. Individuals do not require special permissions 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 exempt from quarantine.
- Chhattisgarh: Officials allow essential businesses to operate with a reduced workforce and operating hours while most nonessential operations remain closed. Authorities had relaxed some commercial measures in some worst-affected districts. Asymptomatic passengers entering the state may serve the mandatory 14-day quarantine at their residence.
- Delhi: Authorities have relaxed some measures in noncontainment zones, including allowing markets and hospitality establishments to reopen and resuming metro rail services. Interstate travel relaxations are in place. All international passengers entering Delhi must undergo a 7-day paid institutional quarantine followed by a 7-day home quarantine unless they provide results of a COVID-19 test taken up to 96 hours before arrival. Asymptomatic domestic passengers may serve the mandatory 14-day quarantine at their residence.
- Haryana: Authorities have reduced some commercial restrictions, allowing shops, shopping centers, and offices to operate seven days a week. Noncontainment zones across the state have reopened businesses and allowed some private and public transport services to operate. Officials may reimpose measures such as movement controls in affected districts if caseloads rise. 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: Interstate travel can resume, and authorities no longer require people entering the state to have a pass, register online, produce negative COVID-19 test results upon entry, or undergo quarantine if asymptomatic. Interstate bus services remain suspended until further notice. Authorities may ban nonessential activity in hotspots if caseloads increase. Officials have allowed businesses to reopen, some public transport to resume, and several public sites to reopen in non containment zones. Limited hospitality venues such as hotels and restaurants are open.
- Jammu and Kashmir: Nonessential activity and movement remains banned 2200-0500 daily. Authorities continue to impose strict measures in high-risk areas such as Lakhanpur in Kathua District. Noncontainment zones across the state have seen the resumption of most businesses 0900-2100 daily, and transport services. Officials also plan to reopen hotels, cinema halls, restaurants, sports facilities, religious sites, and most public venues from Oct. 15 with 50-percent capacity. Interstate travelers can enter via air, rail, or land; no prior permission is required. All passengers entering the state must undergo mandatory testing and quarantine at home or a designated facility for 14 days until results arrive.
- Ladakh: Interstate transport remains limited. Noncontainment zones across the state have reopened businesses, resumed public and private transport, and reopened several public sites. All entrants planning to stay for less than five days must carry negative results of an RT-PCR COVID-19 test obtained within 48 hours prior to arrival. Other entrants must undergo testing upon entry, as well as a mandatory quarantine for at least seven days in a designated facility or residence depending on medical assessment.
- Madhya Pradesh: Interdistrict and interstate transport are allowed; e-passes are not required for entry into or exit out of the state. Strict measures are only in effect in containment zones. Other areas across the state are reopening businesses, transportation, and some public sites. However, some facilities, such as cinema halls and swimming pools, are to remain closed until at least Oct. 15. Asymptomatic passengers may serve the mandatory 14-day quarantine at their residence.
- Punjab: Nightly and Sunday curfews are no longer applicable. Officials are allowing transport services, business operations, and social gatherings with capacity limits. No special permissions are necessary for interdistrict or interstate travel. Entrants to the state are subject to a mandatory 14-day quarantine; travelers with negative RT-PCR COVID-19 test results obtained within 72 hours prior to arrival, as well as those leaving the state within 72 hours of arrival are exempted.
- Rajasthan: Intra and interstate public and private transport services are operational with social distancing measures. People do not require permission or e-permits for inter- or intrastate travel. 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: Authorities have allowed many businesses and public sites to reopen and public and private transport to resume in noncontainment zones. The government has removed the limit of 2,000 people visiting the state per day. Tourists must register online, produce accommodation bookings for at least two days, as well as negative results of a COVID-19 test obtained within 72 hours before arrival; on-arrival testing facilities are also available. Limited public and private transport are operational. Officials may enhance measures banning nonessential activity in areas experiencing higher caseloads. All asymptomatic entrants must undergo a 10-day home quarantine. Exempted travelers include those with a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours prior to, or upon arrival, those intending to stay for less than seven days in the state for essential or emergency purposes, as well as returnees who have stayed outside the state for less than five days.
- Uttar Pradesh: Weekend curbs on nonessential activity are no longer in place. While businesses and transport services are largely operational, officials plan to gradually reopen recreational venues, public sites, religious shrines, and educational institutions from Oct. 15. Intra- and interstate travel is allowed; no prior permission is required. International travelers entering the state must undergo seven days of institutional quarantine followed by seven days of home quarantine; exemptions include passengers with a negative RT-PCR test within 96 hours prior to departure or visiting for emergency purposes. Domestic travelers must serve a 14-day home quarantine unless planning to exit the state within seven days of arrival, or returning to the state within five days of exit.
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.
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.
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.
Location(s) affected by this alert
- MADHYA PRADESH STATE - BHOPAL*
- UTTAR PRADESH STATE - NOIDA*
- UTTAR PRADESH STATE - LUCKNOW*
- PUNJAB STATE - AMRITSAR*
- UTTAR PRADESH STATE - VARANASI*
- Rajasthan State - Jaipur
- CHHATTISGARH STATE - BACHELI (NMDC TOWNSHIP)*
- CHHATTISGARH STATE - RAIPUR*
- UTTAR PRADESH STATE - KANPUR*
- JAMMU AND KASHMIR - JAMMU*
- MADHYA PRADESH STATE - INDORE*
- LADAKH - LEH*
- Haryana State - Gurugram (Gurgaon)
- UTTAR PRADESH STATE - AGRA*
- PUNJAB STATE - LUDHIANA*
- RAJASTHAN STATE - JODHPUR*