Grappling to break the chain of the virus, more stringent lockdown norms shall be implemented from Thursday (April 22) till May 1 with serious restrictions on movement of people or vehicles, as per an official order.

Among the highlights are — essential services providers can only travel by public transport, government offices – barring emergency services connected directly to pandemic management – can work only with 15 per cent capacity or 5 persons, whichever is higher, and marriages can host only 25 guests with a fine of Rs 50,000 for violations.

For the Central government offices in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region – the worst-hit in the country – and the Mantralaya, the department heads will decide on higher staff attendance after taking permission from the State Disaster Management Authority.

All public transport will be used for government staff, medical personnel or those requiring medical treatment, and the passes/tickets/authorization shall be issued on the basis of a government-issued I-card only, said the order from Chief Secretary Sitaram Kunte.

Besides, all state and local government public bus services shall be operated with 50 per cent capacity, not standees permitted, while inter-city or inter-district travel by trains and buses would be subject to other conditions.

However, private transport can be operated only for emergency or essential services, or with valid reasons at half-capacity, but not for inter-district or inter-city travel.

Inter-district or inter-city travel will be permitted only for essential services or medical emergencies or exigencies like funerals, severe illness, etc, and those flouting shall be slapped with Rs 10,000 penalty.

In case of inter-city or inter-district travel as per other specified conditions like Covid tests at the point of embarkation with the cost borne by the passenger, wherever the travelers deboard, they will be hand-stamped and shunted to a 14-day home quarantine, and anybody detected with symptoms shall be immediately admitted to Corona hospital or care centres.

Earlier this week, the Mumbai Police introduced colour-coded stickers on vehicles for certain specific purpose which resulted in a huge relief for the authorities with no traffic jams and unnecessary commutes or joy-rides by people ending.