Coronavirus Latest News: In view of the rising cases of coronavirus infection amid festivities, the Union Ministry of Home Affairs had issued a fresh set of guidelines for the last month of the year, effective today, that is, December 1. According to the new rules, states and union territories can impose local restrictions like night curfew to check the spread of COVID-19, but they will have to consult the Centre before imposing any lockdown outside the containment zones. Also Read - Coronavirus: Biden To Reinstate COVID-19 Travel Restrictions Lifted by Trump, Says White House Official

Termed as “Surveillance, Containment and Caution”, the MHA said the main focus of the directive is to consolidate the substantial gains that have been achieved against the spread of COVID-19 that are visible in the steady decline in the number of active cases in the country. Also Read - Moderna Coronavirus Vaccine Rarely Causes Anaphylaxis, Finds Report; Only 2.5 Severe Allergic Cases Per 1 Million People Vaccinated

Here’s what to keep in mind: Also Read - This Country Has Imposed First COVID-19 Lockdown, 10,000 to Undergo Mandatory Testing

1. Local district, police and municipal authorities will be responsible to ensure that prescribed containment measures are strictly followed everywhere. Only essential activities are allowed in containment zones.

2. All activities have been permitted outside containment zones except for these:
*International commercial air travel of passengers
*Swimming pools, available only for the training of sportspersons
*Cinema halls and theatres, operational with only 50 per cent capacity.
*Social/ religious/ sports/ entertainment/ educational/ cultural/ religious gatherings, with up to a maximum of 50 per cent of the hall capacity. A cap of 200 persons in closed spaces has been imposed nationally, while many states have their own maximum limit.
*Many states have extended lockdown and imposed night curfews the curb the pandemic situation.
*The Home Ministry that states and UTs concerned shall consider implementing staggered office timings and other suitable measures, with a view to reduce the number of employees attending office at the same time, thereby ensuring social distancing.

*Marketplaces that witness high footfalls due to daily needs, shopping, entertainment, and food must be supervised to not spread coronavirus.
*Finally, persons above 65 years of age or with co-morbidities, pregnant women, and children below the age of 10 years should stay at home.

3. States like Maharashtra have revised their travel guidelines and made it mandatory for people travelling from Delhi-NCR, Rajasthan, Gujarat, and Goa to carry RT-PCR COVID negative test reports.

4. In Delhi, the fine for not wearing a mask or flouting other COVID-19 guidelines have been doubled. Several other states are also imposing a higher fine.

The guidelines stated that due to the ongoing festival season and onset of winter, it is emphasised that to fully overcome the pandemic there is a need to maintain caution and to strictly follow the prescribed containment strategy.

The MHA guidelines for COVID-19 will be in place till December 31.