What is Delhi Government’s color-coded system to tackle COVID-19?

The color-coded action plan in Delhi will be based on three parameters: cumulative new positive cases, test positivity rate (TPR), and occupancy of oxygen beds in the hospitals. And the restrictions have been classified under Yellow, Amber, Orange, and Red alert. 

Created On: Aug 11, 2021 14:12 IST
Color-coded action plan in Delhi
Color-coded action plan in Delhi

The Government of Delhi, amid rising concerns of the COVID-19 outbreak in the National Capital, imposed a Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) on August 8, 2021, in order to control any rise in fresh Coronavirus cases in the city.

Kejriwal Government notified a color-coded action plan under which the level of restrictions in industries, markets, offices, and public transport will be determined on the basis of the COVID-19 test positivity rate, occupancy of the beds in hospitals, and the new COVID-19 cases.

What is a color-coded action plan in Delhi?

As per the Delhi Government, the restrictions in the city will be based on three parameters: cumulative new positive cases, test positivity rate (TPR), and occupancy of oxygen beds in the hospitals.

And the restrictions by the government have been classified under Yellow, Amber, Orange, and Red alerts.

While Yellow is the lowest level of alert, Red will be the highest bringing the city under a complete lockdown. Most social, economic activities and public transport facilities will come to a halt with Orange alert itself.

Color-coded action plan in Delhi: Significance

As there was no clear-cut policy in the National Capital, there were instances of the government announcing the restrictions only after a major surge in cases.

The Color-coded Graded Response Action Plan in Delhi will prevent the administrative delays, which happened during the second wave, in announcing the preventive measures.

The Chief Secretary Vijay Dev on August 8 notified a plan which was earlier approved by the Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) on July 9, 2021.

However, with Delhi’s hospitalization and positivity rate currently are well below the parameters that necessitate the sounding of an alert, no fresh restrictions are being imposed immediately.

Yellow alert triggered: What will be the restrictions?

The yellow alert will go out if the Test Positivity Rate (TPR) remains over 0.5 for two consecutive days or the cumulative new cases (for one week) touch 1,500 or the average occupancy of the oxygen beds in hospitals remains 500 for a week.


Auditoriums, Cinemas, banquet halls, gyms and entertainment parks, spas, gyms, and yoga centers will be shut down.

There will be a complete ban on religious/political/social/entertainment/festival-related gatherings.

Sports complexes, stadiums (except National/International Sports events) will be shut.

Night Curfew will come into effect under which the movement of people will be restricted between 10 pm to 5 am.

What will be allowed?

Shops in malls and markets dealing with the non-essential goods open and services will be allowed to open as per the odd-even formula from 10 am to 8 pm. One weekly market will be allowed per municipal zone at half the vendor capacity.

Restaurants will be able to operate at 50% capacity from 8 am to 10 pm, bars from 12 pm to 10 pm, also at 50% capacity.

Delhi Metro and buses will be allowed to operate at 50% capacity.

Delhi Government offices will be able to call 100% Grade I officers, while private firms can call 50% of staff between 9 am to 5 pm.

Gardens, public parks, industrial establishments and construction activities, barbershops, e-commerce, beauty parlors, and salons will be allowed to open.

Amber alert triggered: Restrictions and what will be allowed?

Delhi will enter the next phase of restrictions under Amber Alert if the TPR remains over 1 for over two consecutive days or 3,500 new cases are reported in a week, or in case an average oxygen beds occupancy remains over 700 over the course of a week.


Apart from the restrictions under yellow, restaurants and bars will close, but takeover and home delivery will be permitted.

Timings of shops in malls and markets will be from 10 am to 6 pm.

Public parks and gardens will be closed, along with salons, barbershops, and beauty parlours.

Metros will be allowed at 33% capacity, while buses will run at 50% capacity.

Apart from the night curfew, the weekend curfew will also start from 10 pm Friday to 5 am Monday.


Manufacturing units and construction activities and e-commerce will have no restrictions.

When will be the Orange alert and what will be the restrictions?

The orange alert will be sounded if the TPR remains over 2 for two straight days or in the case of 9000 new cases over a week’s time or the average occupancy of the oxygen beds remain 1,000 or above for seven consecutive days.


Malls, Delhi Metro, and markets will close and only shops dealing with essential goods such as milk booths, groceries, and chemists will function.

Buses in Delhi will be able to operate with 50% capacity only with the passengers engaged in essential activities.

Construction activities will be halted and only those sites offering accommodation facilities to labourers will be allowed.

For factories, only those producing the essential commodities will be allowed if workers can live on the site.

E-Commerce will be permitted only in the case of essential items such as health equipment and medicines.

Delhi Government offices will be opened, however, the private offices, except those falling under exempted categories, will be shut.

Night and weekend curfew will remain enforced.

When the Red Alert will kick in?

If the Test Positivity Rate in the city breaches 5 for two days in a row or Delhi records 16,000 new cases in a week or the average occupancy of the oxygen beds in hospitals remains 3,000 or above for a week, the Red alert will kick in.

Delhi will go under lockdown in Orange alert itself. The additional restrictions of the Red alert will mainly be on the movement of vehicles and people s a total curfew will be imposed.

Restrictions for Marriage and Funeral-related gatherings:

A maximum of 20 people will be able to take part in these events under Yellow and Amber alerts. In the case of Red and Orange alerts, it will be 15.

Sectors to remain open irrespective of level of alerts:

Hotels and lodges will remain open under all four levels of alerts.

Places of worship will remain open but no visitors will be allowed.

In the case of intra-state movement of buses, only those under the exempted categories will be permitted and the seat occupancy will be capped at 50% from the yellow alert itself.

What are the restrictions on people coming to Delhi from other states?

For those who will be entering Delhi from other states, a negative RT-PCR report not older than 3 days will be mandatory or the full vaccination certificate will be mandatory when the city is under the Red Alert and the travelers are from states with a TPR above 5.

Those individuals who will be coming from states where a new COVID strain has been found will also have to produce the vaccination certificate or a negative RT-PCR report.

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