NEW DELHI: The
on Friday wrote to all the states and Union territories clarifying that
night curfew restrictions
do not apply to
of passenger buses and trucks on
and state highways; persons travelling to their destinations after disembarking from buses, trains and flights; or cargo movement as part of maintaining supply chains and logistics.
The home ministry guidelines relating to Unlock 1.0 released on May 17, 2018, had mandated night curfew between 9 pm and 5 am, when movement of individuals would be strictly prohibited throughout the country, except for essential activities.
In a communication sent to all state chief secretaries and UT administrators on Friday, home secretary
Ajay K Bhalla
said it had come to the home ministry's notice that some states/UTs were also restricting movement of persons and vehicles plying on highways between 9 pm and 5 am, “which is hindering their smooth passage".
Underlining that the purpose of restricting movement of individuals, except for essential activities, between 9 pm and 5 am was primarily intended to prevent congregation of persons and to ensure social distancing, Bhalla clarified: "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".
Accordingly, the home ministry has advised the states/UTs not to prevent the aforesaid movement. "Necessary instructions to this effect may please be issued to the district and local authorities," the home secretary directed.