Ministry of Home Affairs has issued guidelines for lifting coronavirus in a phased manner outside containment zones. The guidelines will come into effect from June 1 and will continue till June 30, the ministry said in a statement released on Saturday. Activities prohibited so far will be allowed in days to come in accordance to standard operating procedures (SOPs) that will be prescribed by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
"In exercise of the powers under section 6(2)(i) of the Disaster Management Act, 2005, National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) has directed the undersigned to issue an order to extend the lockdown in Containment Zones and up to June 30, 2020 and to re-open prohibited activities in a phased manner in areas outside Containment Zones," said a statement signed by Union Home Secretary and Chairman of National Executive Committee.
Activities allowed in the first phase of lockdown reopening will focus on economic activities. In Phase I, religious places and places of worship, hotels, restaurants and other hospitality services, and shopping malls will be allowed to open from June 8, 2020. Health Ministry will issue SOPs for the above activities, in consultation with the concerned central ministries and departments and other stakeholders to ensure social distancing and contain the spread of COVID-19.
In Phase II, schools, colleges, educational, training and coaching institutions, etc will be opened after consultations with states and UTs, the Home Ministry said. State governments and UT administrations have been asked to hold institution-level consultations with parents and other stakeholders. Based on the feedback, a decision on the re-opening of these institutions will be taken in the month of July, 2020. Health Ministry will prepare SOP for these institutions.
Phase III will see opening of remaining prohibited activities based on assessment of the situation. These include international passenger air travel of passengers, metro operations, cinema halls, gymnasiums, swimming pools, entertainment parks, theatres, bars, auditoriums, assembly halls. Under this phase, decision will also be taken on allowing large gathering for social, political, sports, entertainment, academic, cultural, religious functions.
Meanwhile, lockdown will remain in effect in containment zones demarcated by district authorities till June 30, the Home Ministry said. Within these zones, strict perimeter control will be exercised and only essential activities will be permitted. States and union territories have been allowed to prohibit certain activities outside the containment zones or impose restrictions, based on their assessments.
Night Curfew will continue to remain in force during Lockdown 5.0, however, its timings have been revised from 9pm to 5am. During this time movement of individuals for all non-essential activities will remain prohibited. Persons above 65 years of age, suffering from co-morbidities, pregnant women, and children below the age of 10 years have been advised to stay at home, except for meeting essential requirements and for health purposes, as they are deemed more vulnerable to coronavirus.