As part of phase 2 of unlocking the Indian economy, the union home ministry late on Monday relaxed curfew hours to allow easier movement of people and goods on national highways and to facilitate loading and unloading of cargo. The relaxation will also give more time for people to commute to their destinations after getting off buses, trains and airplanes and offer "seamless operation" of industrial units in multiple shifts.
In the first phase of unlocking the economy, starting June, the curfew hours stretched from 9pm to 5 am, which has now been eased to 10pm to 5 am.
“Night curfew timings are being further relaxed and curfew shall be in force from 10.00 pm to 5.00 am. Further, relaxations in night curfew have been given for seamless operation of industrial units in multiple shifts, movement of persons and goods on National and State Highways...," the home ministry said, announcing fresh guidelines on the second phase of unlocking or resuming economic activities.
The government has also allowed inter- and intra-state movement of people and goods without the requirement of permits or special passes.
“States and UTs, based on their assessment of the situation, may prohibit certain activities outside the containment zones, or impose such restrictions as deemed necessary. However, 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," it said.
A strident lockdown, which was enforced from 25 March and was in place until 25 May, failed to arrest the spread of coronavirus in the country. The fourth worst affected country in the world now, India has reported 5,48,000 cases, with death toll at 16,475.