The Unlock 5 guidelines issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on September 30 will remain in force up to November 30, the government said on Tuesday. The lockdown, however, will continue to be implemented strictly in the containment zones till November 30, 2020, it said.
Since the issuance of the first order on lockdown measures on March 24 to contain the spread of coronavirus, almost all activities have been gradually opened up in areas outside the containment zones, the MHA said. While most of the activities have been permitted, some activities involving large number of people, have been allowed with some restrictions and subject to standard operating procedures (SOPs) being followed regarding health and safety precautions. These activities include metro rail, shopping malls, hotel, restaurants and hospitality services, religious places, yoga and training institutes, gymnasiums, cinemas, entertainment park etc.
Also Read: Unlock 5.0: What's open and what's closed?
In respect of certain activities, having relatively higher degree of risk of COVID-19 infection, state/ Union Territories (UT) governments have been permitted to take decisions for their re-opening, based on the assessment of the situation and subject to SOPs. These activities include - schools and coaching institutes, state and private universities for research scholars, allowing gatherings above the limit of 100 etc.
In the last unlock guidelines issued by MHA on September 30, 2020, the following activities were also permitted but with certain restrictions:
- International air travel of passengers as permitted by MHA.
- Exhibitions halls for Business to Business (B2B) purposes.
- Swimming pools being used for training of sportspersons.
- Cinemas/ theatres/ multiplexes with upto 50 per cent of their seating capacity.
- Social/ academic/ sports/ entertainment/ cultural/ religious/ political functions and other congregations, in closed spaces with a maximum of 50 per cent of the hall capacity and subject to ceiling of 200 persons.
One of the biggest relaxations in Unlock 5 has been given to cinema halls. After more than six months, the government allowed cinema halls, theatres, and multiplexes to reopen on October 15 with up to 50 per cent of their sitting capacity. The guidelines have also allowed schools and colleges to reopen from October 15 in a graded manner. Students may attend schools/institutions with the written consent of parents. However, the final decision to reopen schools and colleges has to be taken in consultation with schools/institution's management. Attendance is not mandatory in schools.
Among other major relaxations, the central government had removed restriction on inter-state and intra-state movement of persons and goods. With this, no separate permission or e-permit is required for such movements.
By Chitranjan Kumar