Union Home Secretary Ajay Kumar Bhalla on Friday clarified to States that the restriction on movement of people between 9 p.m. and 5 a.m. does not apply to loading and unloading of vehicles, including movement of buses and trucks.
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“It has come to notice that some States and UTs are also restricting movement of persons and vehicles plying on highways between 9 p.m. and 5 a.m. which is hindering their smooth passage,” the letter by Mr. Bhalla said.
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“Movement of individuals will remain strictly prohibited between 9 p.m. and 5 a.m. throughout the country, except for essential activities. I would like to clarify that the purpose of restricting movement of individuals, except for essential activities, is primarily intended to prevent congregation of persons and to ensure social distancing,” the letter stated.
It added that 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 buses, trains and flights.
The Ministry of Home Affairs had issued guidelines for Unlock 1 on May 31 allowing certain activities and endorsing night curfew from 9 p.m. to 7 a.m.