Amid the surge in the number of COVID-19 cases, the Assam government on Tuesday issued a fresh set of guidelines to curb the spread of coronavirus and has imposed restrictions on certain activities.

The new guidelines have been put in place with immediate effect and will remain in effect till April 30 or until further notice.

The new Standard Operating Procedures SOPs issued by the government are:

1. Gatherings

  • All market places, shopping malls shall remain closed from 6 PM onwards.
  • Open functions to be allowed with the permission of the District Authority subject  to strict adherence to COVID appropriate behavior, including wearing face mask, maintaining respiratory etiquette, practicing hand hygiene through frequent hand washing or hand sanitizers and maintain social distancing (6 feet). While granting such permission, District Authority will assess the public bearing capacity of the open space and allow gathering of only 50% of its capacity or 400 persons, whichever is lower.”
  • In closed venues, gatherings up to 50 per cent will be allowed.On the other hand, no standing audience will be allowed in open or closed venues.
  • Number of guests in the private functions at private venues including marriage to be restricted to 100 persons.
  • “Funeral/ last rites related gatherings should ensure not more than 20 persons for each deceased,” stated the order.
  • Religious places/ places of worship should be allowed to be operated with 20 persons per hour, except the iconic religious places where it can be 50 persons per hour. However, if any religious place has only a small area, the management committee of such religious institution shall downsize the number of attendees accordingly.
  • Working from home and virtual working should be encouraged.
  • Except officers, only 50% employees can work from office.
  • No chamber meetings be taken by officers/executives.
  • Pregnant women employees and women with children of 5 years or below irrespective of their grade shall be eligible to work from home.
  • Social distancing at work places should be ensured through adequate gaps between shifts, staggering of lunch breaks of staff etc.
  • Provision for thermal scanning, hand wash and sanitizer be made at all entry and exit points and common areas. In addition, sufficient quantities of handwash and sanitizer should be made available in the work places.
  • Frequent sanitization of entire workplace, common facilities and all points which come into human contact should be carried out.

3. Educational Institutions

  • All Educational Institutions including Schools/Colleges/Universities must provide quality virtual options.
  • Not more than 50% students should attend in person on any day.
  • Schools should stagger class timings so that large scale release of students doesn’t arise.
  • Morning assembly/special assembly etc. in the school shall be avoided.
  • Preference to be given on online mode of teaching for primary classes.
  • Education Department will issue detail guideline/SOP for uninterrupted education service keeping in view of the COVID-19 precautionary measures.

4. Public Transport

  • Public transport to enforce COVID compliant seating.
  • More Vehicle Kilometers be generated than focus on passenger kilometres.
  • Auto Rickshaws, cycle rickshaws, and taxis shall operate with one driver and two passengers maintaining social distancing.
  • City buses and intra-district buses shall operate with 50% capacity.

5. Miscellaneous

  • Wearing of face mask to be made compulsory in all public places.
  • Shops will ensure a minimum of six feet distance among customers and shall not allow more than 5 persons at the shop. In addition, shop owners should compulsorily keep sanitizers and hand wash in their shops.
  • Shopkeepers and customers shall have to wear masks, hand gloves and maintain social distancing. Responsibility for maintenance of social distancing will be on the shop owner and failure to do so will be viewed very seriously and may entail summary closure of defaulting shops.
  • Barber shops, salons and parlors shall continue to provide service with strict compliance of COVID-19 appropriate behavior such as wearing face masks, face cover, hand gloves.