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April 24, 2021

FAQs on Maharashtra Covid Regulations (Break the Chain)

by CA Shivam Jaiswal in Compliance Law

FAQs on Maharashtra Covid Regulations (Break the Chain)

1. Can Doctors and Medical Personnel travel across Districts without any restrictions

Answer: Yes. Doctors and medical personnel can travel across districts using personal/ private/ public transport on the basis of an identity card issued to them by the competent authorities/ their establishments. It is expected that reason for travel is medical and health related.

2. Which category of people will be allowed to use local trains

Answer: Only Government personnel and Health Workers will be allowed the use of local trains. No one else even notified as essential services or under exemptions as per the Government orders will be allowed to use local trains. Government includes local governments like MCGM, TMC and other corporations, Zilla Parishad and government authorities and statutory commissions, agencies.

3. Can Export Oriented units function.

Answer: I Export oriented units will be allowed to function only to the extent of fulfilling current export commitments and exporting already finished goods. Transport of the goods are also exempted.

However manufacturing of the goods for export will be allowed only if it falls in the exemption category for manufacturing in the order dated 13/4/2021.

4. Do all banks need to function at 15 % attendance

Answer: Yes. Banks fall under Exemption category in Section 5 of the State Government Order dated 13th April, 2021. Hence all banks to function as per 15% capacity only ( or 5 whichever is more).

5. Who can avail services of taxi/rickshaw services

Answer:

a. People belonging to essential/ exemption categories as per Government Order dated 13th April, 2021 and further clarifications/ additions thereof.

b. For Medical Emergencies.

c. For valid reasons as per the order dated 13/4/2021 – like exams, travel to and from airports/long distance trains/ buses stops.

6. Is inter district travel permitted

Answer: Inter District travel by private cars or vehicles other than buses and long distance trains is permitted but only for extremely essential reasons. This may include medical emergency, death in family etc. People may take up long distance trains and buses but shall be subject to home quarantine and other measures mentioned in the order.

7. Visitors in Government Offices

Answer: Not allowed. It is clarified however that for registration purposes, citizens may be allowed to come to registrar offices with prior appointment, and even these offices shall work with l 5% attendance unless applied to and approved by OMA

8. Schools/ Colleges / Universities have open?

Answer: Schools/ Colleges/ Universities have been closed. However, if so needed by the administration of concerned schools/ colleges/ universities, teaching and non-teaching staff may come to the campus with a restriction of 15% attendance ( or 5 whichever is more).

9. Who requires to mandatorily undergo RTPCR/RA T/Tru Nat test?

Answer: RTPCR/ Tru Nat/ RAT test is compulsory for staff who are involved in the process of examinations i.e supervisors, invilgators etc and for staff of halls where weddings are conducted including caterer, waiters etc These are no longer required for home delivery personnel though it is advised. Also, it is not required for anyone unless specifically mandated in order dated 13/4/2021.

10. Whether home delivery is by e- commerce personnel only or by anyone else?

Answer: Home delivery is allowed by anyone authorized by the establishment that is allowed to serve customers through home delivery. These may nor may not belong to a e-commerce company.

However they must always be able to prove whom they are delivering for.

11. If a person is travelling without a valid reason ( death, medical emergency) is subjected for fine. Which authority to impose the fine? If he/ she is unable to pay fine what will be next course of action (whether vehicle will be confiscated or not)

Answer: Local DMA, Incidence commanders and anyone authorised by these are also authorised to collect fine. If someone is unable to pay the fine, then the process as mentioned in motor vehicle act or any other act (like BPA) should be followed.

12. Regarding inter district travel there is no mention of any proof which police should check to let that person move out of the district.

Answer: Reasons that are acceptable for travel have been mentioned. There is no pass system established for now. Reasonable proofs should be accepted. We may even err on the side of trusting the person travelling ifthere explanation is found reasonable. It’s left to the judgement of implementation agency.

13. Home quarantine/ micro containment zones enforcement is not explicit – could it be clarified.

Answer: Micro Containment Zones guidelines speak of all that is needed to be ensured. Local OMA may decide further steps that are needed to implement these. If any order of SOMA is silent about any issue, local OMA has authority to fill in as per local conditions. Changing any of the explicitly mentioned guidelines shall required prior consent of SOMA

14. I As per order of 20/04/21 home delivery is restricted upto 8 PM. Does this apply to Zomato and swingy as weJI?

Answer: Order allows local OMA to extend these timings. There should not be any order only for specific e-commerce organizations. Same timings shall apply to all the establishments that are offering same service.

15. Any orders for work from home for government staff?

Answer: This is not a sanction ofleave. 85% staff of the government must work from home. It is expected that departments will embrace e-office as well as tele-meeeting systems.

16.There is an ambiguity in respect of travel permitted for lawyers and clerks. Bombay high court PILs have permitted travel of members of bar and their clerks.

Answer: Advocates offices are open as essential services, and hence travel for work is a valid reason. These however are not allowed by local trains/ metros/ monos. They may travel by private cars, taxis or public or private buses.

17. I Can someone stuck in one city or another state travel in personal cars to hometown? Is inter-district business travel allowed? Can people with flight bookings travel from various cities in Maharashtra to Mumbai airport by cab?

Answer: Distance buses and take taxis/ public transport to residence.

1. Persons stuck from other states may come in through flights or long distance trains or long I

2. Inter-district business travel is not allowed.

3. These may be allowed provided their origin city does not have an airport and every traveller in the taxi has a boarding pass. Implementing agencies must satisfy itself of the veracity or genuine of the claim though we may towards trusting the citizen. Anyone trying to misuse the trust should be fined as per the orders.

(Aseem Gupta)

Principal Secretary (OM, R&R)

Questions about Maharashtra Covid Regulations.

1. Can maids, drivers , cooks come to work ? Can they travel by local trains/ buses?

Answer: We have allowed local disaster management authorities to take a decision on it as various cities, urban and local areas have different situations and decision should be local.

2. Can people shift homes and use the services of movers & packers?

Answer: No. This is not in general a valid reason. What can be avoided and is not immediately essential must be avoided. If there is a very genuine reason and very essential, local disaster management authority may allow. This is expected to be very exceptional though.

3. Is travel within Malharashtra by private vehicle allowed?

Answer: Not without a valid reason, mentioned in the order. One may take a public transport – tickets are enough to move to and fro between
stops/ stations of public transport vebicles and one’s residence.

4. Will wine shops and cigarette shops be open?

Answer: No. No shops are to open unless a shop falls in essential category.

These do not.

5. Will people be allowed to`walk/jog cycle in the morning?

Answer: No

6. Will construction material stores like steel, cement , ready mix open available?

Answer: If a construction site is open as per orders, material movement is allowed in and out. Orders may be placed online/ telephonically and deliveries may be made to the location. But no shutters to be open for any material shop for conduct of business over the counter.

7. Will courier services be available?

Answer: Only for essential services.

8. NGOs conducting relief work for people and animals, can they function?

Answer: Not without consent of local disaster management authority. These may approach local disaster management authority and authority may allow them after due verification.

9. Can textile/ garment factories be allowed to stay open?

Answer: No.

10. Will Maharashtra university MBBS exams continue as scheduled on the 19th April?

Answer: Conduct of all the exams shall be decided by concerned department and will be separately notified. This order means that if an exam is being conducted, hall ticket is the document to prove movement of a student and an accompanying adult to be a valid reason during these restrictions.

11. What qualifies as essential E-commerce?

Answer: All goods and services that qualify under the essential services mentioned in the order. For example all items that are needed for health or medical reasons, groceries, food items etc.

12. Refrigerators, AC and other home Can plumbers/ carpenters/eletricians work? Cleaning, disinfection, pest control? appliances repair technicians?

Answer: If it is unavoidable then water and electricity services by private people are also allowed. Similarly cleaning, disinfection. pest control, as well residential or home appliance repairs may be considered as essential. But it should reasonably be immediately needed. Principle is to discourage unnecessary movements while allowing necessary ones conveniently. It is expected that citizens will demand these services only if necessary today. Restrictions are not there for the sake of restrictions but to ensure safety of citizens as well as these service providers, and their families. If citizens use these allowance in right spirit, fellow citizens may get these services without any hinderance in the times of need. If these considerations are misused, we may have to control or deny it.

13. Will dental clinics function as essentials?

Answer: Yes.

14. Stationary, book shops, will they be open?

Answer: No.

15. Travel, visa, passport assistance Will travel agencies be open? be open?

Answer: Travel Agencies: Not open physically i.e. shutters are not going to be open. However they will continue to operate over internet. As far as visa/ passport assistance is concerned, we have allowed single window systems -like that of CSC-SPV in villages, Setu in collector offices. Visa/ Passport services, that are being run by government office’s authorised agencies to be considereda part of Government offices and thus these can operate on working days.

16. Are those ancillary Industries supplying to Essential manufacturers/ services allowed to operate as without their supply the production comes to a halt.

Answer: Principle has been enunciated as essential for essential is essential’. If there is any confusion industry department’s decision shall be final.

17. Are only those workmen’s /employee staying at walkable distance or same locality near factory allowed to work at the permitted units or can workmen from other municipalities or panchayats of Maharashtra can report to work. ( eg. Workmen staying in kalyan going to work in thane)

Answer: In the case of industries producing essentials as per the Government Order dated 13″ April, the workforce can travel. In case of other Industries, only those who provide accommodation to their labour either inside the campus of the facility or at an isolated facility from where travel to and fro to the facility happens in a isolated bubble can function.

18. As all Exporters/ importers of all commodities are allowed to operate. can those who manufacture goods & offer services to exporters allowed to operate as well.

Answer: No. It is expected that imports shall be disseminated to final are essential goods. else post import these will have to be stocked. Similarly export of already created goods is to market only if thes be done. For manufacturing of the goods to be exported. manufacturing will happen only if it falls within the ambit of order. If there is any exigency, industrial department can be moved.

19. Is Fresh Permission required to be obtained or last years permission to operate is good enough as proof to show it to authorities if required.

Answer: For contuining operations, the industry/ manufacturing unit has to fall under the ambit of the Government Order dated 13″ April, 2021.

20. For delivery of essential goods to stores is Rapid antigen test still required?

Answer: No.

21. Can delivery of essential items like food be done post 8 PM – either by restaurants themselves or througlh e-commerce sites?

Ans. There is no restriction for essential services and home delivery timings as per order dated 13/4/2021. Times of operations for establishments is decided by local authorities. Home delivery is correspondingly within these times.Thus if regular operations timings are beyond 8 PM, home delivery is permitted beyond 8 PM. Local authorities may, if so desired. vary these operations timings.

22. What about roadside eatable vendors?

Answer: In these locations both parcels and home deliveries (though home delivery from these is very rare) are allowed between 7 AM to 8PM.

23. For very large housing society should we have whole of society under micro-containment zone?

Answer: If we have more than 5 cases in a campus we have to declare it a micro containment zone. Ifa society is very large, local authority should decide whether all the cases are in such limited area that can be practically isolated (no porous boundary) they may declare that as micro containment zone. Principle is to cover the area where ingress and egress maybe identified well and controlled, as finally we are islanding it for interactions. SOP of containment should be strictly implementable.

24. About what issues can local authorities may take out further orders?

Answer: Order dated 13th April 2021 speaks about certain areas where local authorities have been specifically asked to take out orders. For example I(f), 14(¢). These orders should be taken out immediately. This order also allows local authorities to include some services as essential and some services as exception services – these orders are too be taken out, if needed, at the earliest. These however should be taken out only after due deliberations and in exceptional circumstances. This order also asks local authorities to manage and supervise and even close down if so desired some special locations like under 3(e), S(e) and 13(a). Orders under this should be as per need and information of breach. Strict supervision for these is required as these locations can very fast become spreader of the disease. For restaurants and bars, working hours are decided by local authorities. If it is required or desired for the purposes of containment of COVID 19, these hours may be revised by the local authorities. There may even be need to extend these hours for the convenience of citizens. 5. If any local authority wants to take out any order implying further restrictions then mentioned in this order by GOM, it will do so only after consent of GOM.

25. Whether working of petroleum supplies locations/ aviation stations/ LPG bottling plants in all three shifts covered under essential services?

Answer: Yes.

26. Are manufactures of Pharmaceutical machineries and equipments allowed to work?

Answer: Yes.

27. Will essential services be allowed only between 7 am to 8 Pm?

Answer: These are allowed through out the day – 24/7. If these services are being provided by establishments that have been given timings of operations by local authority under some other act (like timings for restaurants in regular days) their operations may be allowed between those times. But there is no restriction under disaster management act.

28. Will general public be allowed to use local trains? What constitutes valid reasons?

Answer: Yes, if they have a valid reason to travel. Valid reasons are enumerated in the order – section (2).

29. Can private vehicles ply during the day time to work/ office? What constitutes valid reasons’?

Answer: If their offices/ works are allowed to operate in the order (essential as per section (2) or exemption as per section (5), they can go by private cars and it constitutes a valid reason.

30. What about long distance trains?

Answer: These are essential services and will be on. Anyone may travel on It.

Government of Maharashtra

DMU 2020/CR 92/DM 1

Frequently asked Questions concerning Orders issued by the State Government for imposing of restrictions to prevent the transmission of COVID 19

9th April, 2021

1. Can supermarkets or malls like D-Mart, Big Bazar, Reliance remains open?

Answer: Any establishment selling essential items as per the Government orders dated 4th and 5th April, 2021 can remain open between 7 AM to 8 PM subject to strict adherence to COVID 19 appropriate behavior. If it is selling multiple items some of which do not fall under essential items, that section may remain close.

2. During weekend lockdown which activities will remain open, and which will remain closed?

Answer: All activities categorized under Essential Services can remain open. No person can move without a valid reason, which includes reasons specified in the order as well -as reason for requirement of performing an essential service.

3. Can APMC market be kept open during weekend lockdown?

Answer: Yes. subject to strict adherence to COVID 19 appropriate behavior. If the local authorities feel that indiscipline in any APMC can lead to further transmission of the virus, then they may close the same after seeking permission from the State Government. It is expected that local authorities will keep an strict vigil over these.

4. Can shops providing construction materials remain open?

Answer:  No.

5. Can garages servicing transport services remain open? Can shops of automotive spare parts etc remain open?

Answer: Garages being incidental to requirement of transportation may remain open. Shops shall remain closed. Local authorities are keep strict vigil on these and if any garage is found defaulting the COVID appropriate behavior, it may be closed till the operation of COVID 19
disaster notification remains in force.

6. Can employees of Central Government, PSU etc. be treated as an essential service provider?

Answer: No. All employees of Central Government and PSU’s cannot be treated as essential service providers.

However, Central Government/ PSU employees belonging to sectors categorized as essential services fall under ambit of essential service
providers.

7. Can citizen buy liquor?

Answer: Yes. In accordance with the Government order dated 4th April, 2021, citizens can buy liquor from bars ( on take away basis) or as home delivery from the bars as per the time window provided in the said order for restaurants and bars. This is subject to rules of the Excise Department.

8. Can Liquor shops remain open/ do home delivery

Answer: No.

9. Can roadside dhaba remain open?

Answer: Yes. But the rules applicable to restaurents will apply – No seating- only take away/ delivery allowed.

10. Can electrical home appliance (e.g. AC, Cooler, Fridge etc.) repairing shops remain open?

Answer: No.

11. Can telecommunication devices (e.g. Desktops/Laptops, mobile etc.) remain open?

Answer: No.

12. Can Aaple Sarkar Seva Kendra ; SETU CSC Centers ; SETU Kendra, Passport Seva Kendra etc. which provide one w1ridow system for various government services be treated under essential services?

Answer: Yes. They can remain open on weekdays between 7 AM to 8 PM.

13. Can restaurants supply home parcels post 8 PM and before 7 AM and on weekend?

Answer: Restaurants and bars are functioning as per the timings given by local authority, with the constrain that there is no seating dining allowed. Parcels are allowed to be picked up from restaurants by customers themselves during weekdays from 7 AM to 8 PM. No parcels can be picked up by the customer beyond these times and on weekends. However home deliveries through e-commerce are allowed beyond these times and on weekends subject to regular timings as decided by local authorities.

(Aseem Gupta)
Principal Secretary
Disaster Management, Relief & Rehabilitation

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