Lockdown 5.0: Night Curfew to Remain in Force, But Timings Reduced to 9 pm-5 am

The central government on Saturday announced a graded lifting of the nationwide lockdown outside containment zones as it greatly trimmed the number of activities prohibited, but said the night curfew will continue to remain in force.

The timings of the night curfew, however, have been reduced. It will be in effect from 9 pm to 5 am across the country, the home ministry said, a change from 7 am to 7 pm in the fourth phase of the lockdown. People linked to essential services are allowed to move at night.

"Movement of individuals shall remain strictly prohibited between 9 pm and 5 am throughout the country, except for essential activities," the Home Ministry said.

"Local authorities shall issue orders in the entire area of their jurisdiction, under appropriate provisions of law, such as under Section 144 of CrPC, and ensure strict compliance," the Home Ministry said.

The Centre has allowed several activities to reopen outside containment zones in phases, subject to following social distancing and other safety guidelines.

The MHA said no separate permission, approval or e-permit will be required for inter-state or intra-state movement of people and goods. If a state or a union territory decides to regulate movement, it will be required to publicise their decision in advance, the home ministry said, as it looks to reduce confusion and curb ad-hoc decisions by states.

The Centre has extended the coronavirus lockdown for containment zones till June 30, and said that restrictions will be lifted for the rest of the country in a graded manner starting June 8.

"There shall be no restriction on inter-state and intra-state movement of persons and goods. No Separate permission/approval/e-permit will be required for such movements," the Centre said in a statement.

"However, if a state/union territory, based on reasons of public health and its assessment of the situation, proposes to regulate movement of persons, it will give wide publicity in advance regarding the restrictions to be placed on such movements, and the related procedures to be followed," it added.

The government said that in the first phase of the lifting of restrictions, malls and temples and places of worship will open from June 8. "The current phase of re-opening, Unlock 1, will have an economic focus," said the guidelines.

In the second phase of the reopening classes in schools, colleges, and other educational institution would resume. The new guidelines had been issued based on extensive consultations held with States and Union Territories, the home ministry said.