Hyderabad: The Union ministry of Home Affairs on 23 March said that there will be no restriction on inter-state and intra-state movement of persons and goods, including cross land-border trade under treaties with neighbouring countries. No separate permission, approval, or e-permit will be required for such movements, it said.

The ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) issued an order on Tuesday with guidelines for effective control of COVID-19 which will be effective from 1 April and will remain in force up to 30 April 2021.

The ministry also said that states should increase RT-PCR testing to the prescribed level of 70 per cent. All states and Union Territories (UTs) should rapidly step up the pace of vaccination to cover all priority groups in an expeditious manner, it added.

The ministry said that in view of the surge in COVID-19 cases in some parts of the country, the guidelines mandate the state and UT governments to strictly enforce the test-track-treat protocol, ensure observance of COVID-appropriate behavior, and scale up the vaccination drive to cover all target groups.

The new positive cases, detected as a result of intensive testing, need to be isolated or quarantined at the earliest and provided timely treatment, the ministry said, adding that as per the protocol, their contacts should be traced and similarly isolated or quarantined.

States and UTs, based on their assessment of the situation, may impose local restrictions, at district or sub-district, and city or ward level with a view to contain the spread of COVID-19, the MHA said.

It further said that states and UTs may consider administrative actions, including the imposition of appropriate fines, for the strict enforcement of wearing of face masks, hand hygiene, and social distancing.

Earlier on Tuesday, the government announced that everyone above the age of 45 years will get vaccinated after 1 April.

So far, all people above the age of 60 and those above 45 with comorbidities were being vaccinated.

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