Lockdown 4.0: Mass transport likely to resume, more opening of economic activities

NEW DELHI: Lockdown 4.0 is likely to see further opening up of economic activities, particularly manufacturing in more sectors, and importantly, resumption of mass transport on a limited scale. But there are indications the zone classification criteria — based on which districts are declared red, green and orange zones — may not see any major change.
Sources said while color-coding of districts and declaring of containment zones on the basis of positive cases will stay, there will be far lesser curbs on economic activities, workplaces, business operations, factories and manufacturing units in non-containment areas of red zones. This means more businesses and markets will open with lesser curbs such as fixed-day operations as long as social distancing is observed. E-commerce may be allowed for non-essential goods in red zones as well.

‘Shopping malls, salon services may not start yet’
With a total ban on public transportation in red zones coming in the way of opening of private offices even with 33% attendance and also inconveniencing government employees, some graded opening of these services is being considered. This may include opening of Metro rail services on a limited scale. CISF has prepared a standard operating protocol for safe resumption of Delhi Metro, which prescribes screening of passengers and keeping out those red-flagged by the scanning system. In a major relaxation, the aviation sector may open starting Monday, though only on some domestic routes. Delhi-Mumbai will be among the routes on which flights are likely to resume.

The new guidelines for the extended lockdown may put out a negative list of activities that will be barred, rather than a list of those permitted in red and orange zones. “So, basically, unless prohibited expressly in red and yellow zones, all activities can resume in areas outside of containment zones,” an officer said. Sources said malls, Barber and salon services may remain closed in red zones during lockdown 4.0.