Delhi night curfew: Who is exempt, who requires e-passes and more

Delhi night curfew: Starting Tuesday (April 6) night, the curfew will be in place between 10 pm and 5 am.

The Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) has ordered a night curfew in Delhi till the end of this month (April 30) as part of measures to control the spread of rapidly rising Covid-19 cases in the national capital.

What does the night curfew entail?

Starting Tuesday (April 6) night, the curfew will be in place between 10 pm and 5 am. This means that no one will be able to travel for reasons not categorised as essential or for an emergency. Healthcare workers, government officials who are categorised as emergency and essential staff, those working in stores dealing with food or medicines, those working in 24×7 manufacturing, and those travelling outside the city through flights, trains or buses will not be stopped. All, whoever, will need to either show ID cards or valid passes for the exemption.

People travelling outside the city in private vehicles, however, will not be allowed to travel between 10 pm and 5 am, except in cases of medical emergencies.

The transportation of essential and non-essential goods will not be curtailed.

The restrictions will be implemented by officials from DDMA, district administration, police and civil defence volunteers. Those flouting orders will be prosecuted under sections 51 to 60 of Disaster Management Act, 2005 and Section 188 of IPC.

Who requires e-passes and how? Who doesn’t need them at all?

While government officials, healthcare workers and staff at offices of diplomats only need to carry their identity cards to get exemption from the curfew, pregnant women and those with health emergencies will be allowed to travel without proof.

Those travelling from or to airports, railway stations and bus terminals will have to show valid tickets.

A large section of people will, however, have to get e-passes. This includes people working in shops that deal with food items or medicines (does not include restaurants), media, telecommunication and internet service, banking service, security guards, those working in fuel stations, manufacturing of essentials, etc.

Application for an e-pass can be made at http://www.delhi.gov.in. The portal for passes will ask you to submit the reason for travel, photo ID, and documents such as visiting cards, shop licenses etc.

Will deliver personnel be allowed?

Delivery personnel carrying food, medicines and medical equipment will be allowed on production of an e-pass.

What happens to those taking public transport?

Public transport Delhi Metro, buses, autos and taxis will be allowed to ferry only those passengers between 10 pm and 5 am who fall under the list of exemptions.

What is the aim of the curfew?

DDMA, in its order, has made it clear that the curfew is to stop movement and gatherings of people, and not that of goods and services. This means that any gatherings even in banquet halls and hotels, etc. will not be allowed past 10 pm, till 5 am. At present, the limit on the number of people at weddings and other celebrations is 50, while that in funerals is 20.

Last week, Delhi police carried out raids in several restaurants and clubs and prosecuted over 170 people, including owners of establishments, as people gathered in these places were not following Covid-appropriate behaviour.

How is it different from the lockdown?

Delhi government minister Gopal Rai clarified on Tuesday that the curfew is not expected to lead to a full lockdown. Under the lockdown, which was in place in several phases last year, the movement of most people was completely stopped through the day and offices/industries were shut. At present, the government has no plans to reintroduce such a measure.

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