COVID: Necessary instructions to this effect should be issued to local authorities, centre said (File)
Movement of people will remain prohibited across the country from 9 pm to 5 am during the ongoing ''Unlock 1'', but there are no restrictions on plying of buses with passengers and goods trucks on highways, the centre said on Friday.
In a communication to all states, Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla also said that the purpose of restricting movement of individuals during the night was primarily intended at preventing congregation of people and ensuring social distancing, but not hampering supply chains and logistics.
The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) had issued guidelines prohibiting movement of people between 9 pm and 5 am throughout the country, except for essential activities, he said.
The MHA has noticed that some states and union territories (UTs) are restricting movement of people and vehicles on highways between 9 pm and 5 am, which is hindering their smooth passage, Mr Bhalla said.
"I would like to clarify that the purpose of restricting movement of individuals, except for essential activities, between 9 pm and 5 am, is primarily intended to prevent congregation of persons and to ensure social distancing," he said.
"The restriction does not apply to instances of loading/unloading of goods (as part of supply chains and logistics); buses carrying persons and trucks and goods carriers plying on state and national highways; or persons travelling to their destinations after disembarking from buses, trains and flights," Mr Bhalla said.
The Union home secretary said, accordingly, states and UTs are advised not to prevent such movement. Necessary instructions to this effect should be issued to district and local authorities, he said.
The nationwide lockdown was first announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on March 24 for 21 days in a bid to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus.