The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on Wednesday issued fresh guidelines for the fifth phase of the unlocking process. The fresh guidelines have further eased economic activities despite the escalation in coronavirus cases in the country.
One of the biggest relaxations in Unlock 5 has been given to the cinema halls. After more than six months, the government has allowed cinema halls, theatres, and multiplexes to reopen from October 15 with up to 50 per cent of their sitting capacity.
Further, the revised guidelines have 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.
For colleges, the Education Ministry has to take the final call but higher educational institutions only for research scholars and PG students in science and technology requiring lab and experimental works are permitted to reopen from October 15.
States and union territories have been given the flexibility to permit social gatherings beyond 100 people outside the containment zones from October 15.
Other activities allowed from mid-October include the opening of entertainment parks, swimming pool used for training sportsperson and other similar places.
The government has strongly reiterated that states cannot impose local lockdown outside containment.
International travel continues to remain prohibited in the fifth phase of unlocking as well, except for travel under Vande Bharat Mission and air bubble agreement.
The phase-wise unlocking began in June with only a few essential activities beginning outside the containment zones. So far, the government has allowed metros, offices, domestic flights, religious places, restaurants, hotels, gyms, schools and colleges to resume activities, though the state governments concerned are the final authorities.