All Central government employees must attend office on all working days, according to a new order issued by the Department of Personnel and Training, bringing to an end most of the exemptions allowed during the pandemic.
The decision has been taken on the basis of the Home Ministry’s January 27 guidelines for the containment of COVID-19, said the February 13 order.
“The government servants at all levels are to attend office on all working days without any exemption to any category,” said the order. “The officers/staff shall follow staggered timings to avoid overcrowding in offices/workplaces as decided by the Heads of Department.”
However, the DoPT said staff residing in containment zones would remain exempted from coming to office until those zones were de-notified. Such staff would work from home and be available on telephone and electronic means of communications at all times, it said.
The order said biometric attendance will continue to be suspended until further orders.
As far as possible, meetings would continue to be conducted through video-conferencing and personal meetings with visitors are to be avoided unless absolutely necessary in public interest, said the DoPT.
It also directed all departments to comply with the latest standard operating procedure on preventive measures to prevent COVID-19 spread in offices, issued by the Health Ministry on February 13, and to ensure regular sanitising, social distancing and wearing of masks.