The Union Ministry of Home Affairs on Friday announced several relaxations during the nationwide lockdown, which has been extended till May 17 in an attempt to combat the coronavirus.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced a nationwide lockdown on March 25 to combat Covid-19, which has so far infected over 39,980 people. The lockdown was first extended to May 3, and on Friday, to May 17.

Any individual who violates the lockdown measures will be prosecuted under the Disaster Management Act, 2005 and relevant provisions of the Indian Penal Code.

Here is a list of activities that have been permitted, and those that remain banned:

What is allowed

  1. Shops selling essential items such as medicines, vegetables and groceries.
  2. In non-containment zones in red, orange and green zones, shops selling alcohol and paan.
  3. Railway services permitted by the Centre for movement of stranded people to their home towns.
  4. Interstate movement of vehicles carrying essential goods.
  5. Interstate movement of essential goods sold by e-commerce companies.
  6. Hospitality services for health workers, police personnel and government officials.
  7. Interstate movement of individuals for medical reasons.
  8. Online and distance learning services.
  9. Opening of government offices for the levels of deputy secretary and above at 100% strength. Opening of offices to other employees at 33% strength, following social distancing and hygiene norms.
  10. Opening of private workplaces with up to 33% employees, following social distancing and hygiene norms.  
  11. Two-wheeler vehicles but no pillion rider. Four-wheeler can have two persons. Taxi and cab aggregators, and cycle rickshaws and auto rickshaws will be allowed in orange and green zones.
  12. Bus services will be allowed in green zones with 50% seating capacity. Bus depots can operate with up to 50% capacity too.
  13. Special Economic Zones, Export Oriented Units, industrial estates and industrial townships with access control, manufacturing units of essential goods, including drugs, pharmaceuticals, their raw materials and intermediaries, in non-containment areas of red, orange and green zones.
  14. Production units that require continuous process and their supply chain, manufacturing of information technology hardware, jute industry with staggered shifts and social distancing, manufacturing units of packaging material – in non-containment areas of all three zones.
  15. All industrial activities are permitted in rural areas.
  16. In situ construction activities are allowed in urban areas, where workers are available on the spot. Construction of all renewable energy projects.
  17. Movement of cargo for cross-land border trade with neighbouring countries is also permitted.

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What is prohibited

The following activities remain prohibited all over India, even in green and orange zones:

  1. All domestic and international air travel, except for medical services, air ambulance and security purposes.
  2. All passenger movement by train, except for purposes permitted by the ministry.
  3. Inter-state buses for transport, except as permitted by the Ministry of Home Affairs.
  4. Metro rail services.
  5. Interstate movement of individuals except for medical purposes.
  6. All schools, colleges, educational, training and coaching institutions. 
  7. Hospitality services other than those used for housing health, police or government officials.
  8. All cinema halls, shopping malls, gymnasiums, sports complexes, swimming pools, theatres, bars and auditoriums and similar places.
  9. All social, political, cultural, sports, entertainment or religious functions.
  10. All religious places of worship and religious congregations.
  11. Movement of persons for non-essential activities between 7 pm and 7 am.
  12. All persons above the age of 65, those with co-morbidities and those below the age of 10 shall stay at home except for getting essential services.
  13. Outpatient departments and medical clinics cannot operate in containment zones, but these will be permitted in red, orange and green zones as far as social distancing is followed.
  14. All malls, complexes and markets in urban areas, except those shops in markets selling essential goods.
  15. Non-essential e-commerce activities.
  16. Inter-district and intra-district plying of buses in orange zones.
  17. Liquor and paan shops in containment zones.

In red zones, the following activities remain prohibited:

  1. Cycle rickshaws and auto rickshaws
  2. Taxi and cab aggregators
  3. Plying of buses
  4. Barber shops, spas and salons

All six metros – Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Hyderabad and Bengaluru – have been designated “hotspots” for the large number of coronavirus cases in these cities, and fall under red zones.

Here is a list of the red zones in India.

The guidelines also allowed states and Union Territories to impose restrictions in the light of controlling Covid-19 cases in their regions. So, some states have decided to keep harsher lockdown measures in place.


The Maharashtra government said in a notification issued on Saturday that liquor and paan shops will not be allowed to open in Mumbai, Mumbai (Suburban), Thane and Pune districts, as well as in areas falling under the Malegaon Municipal Corporation.

As many as 14 districts have been marked as hotspots in the state, but in 10 of these districts, liquor and paan shops can open from Monday with social distancing.


The Delhi government has asked all liquor shops run by its departments to provide details about standalone shops that can reopen. It has also made it mandatory for all liquor shops to observe social distancing.


Karnataka Excise Minister H Nagesh said that standalone liquor shops will be allowed to reopen in the state, provided that social distancing is maintained and only parcels are provided. The shops will be allowed to stay open between 9 am and 7 pm.


The Meghalaya government announced several relaxations in restrictions, including the functioning of offices in the state secretariat and directorates. Deputy Chief Minister Prestone Tynsong says curfew will be lifted in Shillong agglomeration with effect from Monday.