The Kerala government has declared a complete lockdown from July 31 to August 1, amid rising cases of Covid-19 in the State.
How does the government impose lockdowns during Covid-19?
The Central and State governments have the power to take special measures and prescribe regulations to prevent the spread of a dangerous epidemic disease or disaster. So, the government can take several actions to control the spread of the Covid-19 disease by restricting spread and movement by enforcing lockdowns. For example, the government can regulate interstate travel in India.
The National Disaster Management Authority issues a set of orders requesting all Government Ministries/Departments (including State/Union Territory governments) to take effective measures to prevent the spread of Covid-19 in the country. The Authority can issue guidelines on implementing the lockdown, and can request the government to comply with them and implement them strictly. These lockdown orders are published on the Ministry of Home Affairs website.
How does the lockdown affect services?
During the lockdown period, the government provides and allows the provision of many essential services, whereas non-essential services are temporarily suspended. For example, essential services like medicines are available while the government may stop non-essential services like amusement parks for some time. Some of the services available also depend on the State government, so it is important to know the directions given in your State.
Are you allowed to step out of your house during lockdown?
You can step out during lockdown only if you have a valid reason for doing so. For example, you can go out to buy essentials, in emergency situations, for vaccination, etc. However, when you go out, you must follow protocol like wearing a mask, social distancing, etc. If you are planning to travel in your private vehicle during lockdown for an essential purpose, it is advisable to carry a self-declaration form stating the purpose of your travel.
What are the punishments for violating lockdown?
Some of the punishments are:
|Intentionally doing an unlawful or negligent act which is likely to spread the infection of any life-threatening disease.
||Jail time up to six months and/or a fine.
|Knowingly disobeying a public servant’s lawful order restricting the person from committing a certain act.
||If it causes danger to human life, health, or safety – Jail time up to six months and/or a fine up to Rupees one thousand.
To know more about Covid-19 and lockdowns, read our explainer.