COVID-19 Crisis: Centre Categorises Essential Services & Establishments As India Locks Down For 21 Days

24 March 2020


New Delhi: Following Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s announcement on nationwide lockdown for 21 days, the Centre today listed a host of services, institutions and establishments which would work, partially work and shut during this period.

Here are the Guidelines:

Offices of the Government of India, its Autonomous/ Subordinate Offices and Public Corporations shall remain closed. Exceptions: Defence, central armed police forces, treasury, public utilities (including petroleum, CNG, LPG, PNG), disaster management, power generation and transmission units, post offices, National Informatics Centre, Early Warning Agencies

Offices of the State/ Union Territory Governments, their Autonomous Bodies, Corporations, etc. shall remain closed. Exceptions:

a. Police, home guards, civil defence, fire and emergency services, disaster management. and prisons.

b. District administration and Treasury

c. Electricity, water, sanitation

d. Municipal bodies—Only staff required for essential services like sanitation, personnel related to water supply etc

The above offices (St. No 1 & 2) should work with minimum number of employees. All other offices may continue to work-from-borne only.

Hospitals and all related medical establishments, including their manufacturing and distribution units, both in public and private sector, such as dispensaries, chemist and medical equipment shops, laboratories, clinics, nursing homes, ambulance etc. will continue to remain functional. The transportation for all medical personnel, nurses, para-medical staff, other hospital support services be permitted.

Commercial and private establishments shall be closed down.


a. Shops, including ration shops (under PDS), dealing with food, groceries, fruits and vegetables, dairy and milk booths, meat and fish, animal fodder. However, district authorities may encourage and facilitate home delivery to minimize the movement of individuals outside their homes.

b. Banks, insurance offices, and ATMs.

c. Print and electronic media

d. Telecommunications, Internet services, broadcasting and cable services. IT and IT enabled Services only (for essential services) and as far as possible to work from home.

e. Delivery of all essential goods including food, pharmaceuticals, medical equipment through E-commerce.

f. Petrol pumps, LPG, Petroleum and gas retail and storage outlets.

g. Power generation, transmission and distribution units and services.

h. Capital and debt market services as notified by the Securities and Exchange Board of India

i. Cold storage and warehousing services.

j. Private security services

All other establishments may work-from-home only

Industrial Establishments will remain closed


a. Manufacturing units of essential commodities.

b. Production units, which require continuous process, after obtaining required permission from the State Government.

All transport services — air, rail, roadways — will remain suspended. Exceptions: a. Transportation for essential goods only. b. Fire, law and order and emergency services.

Hospitality Services to remain suspended Exceptions: a. Hotels, homestays, lodges and motels, which are accommodating tourists and persons stranded due to lockdown, medical and emergency staff, air and sea crew. b. Establishments used/ earmarked for quarantine facilities.

All educational, training, research, coaching institutions etc. shall remain closed

All places of worship shall be closed for public. No religious congregations will be permitted, without any exception.

All social/ political/ sports/ entertainment/ academic/ cultural/ religious functions / gatherings shall be barred.

In case of funerals, congregation of not more than twenty persons will be permitted.

All persons who have arrived into India after February 15, 2020, and all such persons who have been directed by health care personnel to remain under strict home/ institutional quarantine for a period as decided by local Health Authorities, failing which they will be liable to legal action under Sec. 188 of the IPC.

Wherever exceptions to above containment measures have been allowed, the organisations/employers must ensure necessary precautions against COVID-19.