Union Home Ministry on Wednesday issued new un-lockdown guidelines lifting night curfew from August 1 but continued the closure of all educational institutes up to August 31. The opening up of metro trains, cinema halls, swimming pools, bars, and allowing public gatherings will be decided separately. However the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) un-lockdown-3 guidelines permitted the opening up of yoga classes, gyms from August 5 with strict social distancing norms. The MHA also said that the Independence Day celebrations will be conducted across the country as per earlier guidelines enforcing social distancing norms and avoiding large public congregations.
International air travel of passengers has been permitted in a limited manner under the Vande Bharat mission. Further opening-up will take place in a calibrated manner, said MHA. “Restrictions on the movement of individuals during the night (Night curfew) have been removed. Yoga institutes and gymnasiums will be allowed to open from August 5, 2020. In this regard, Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) will be issued by the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare (MoHFW) for ensuring social distancing and to contain the spread of COVID-19.
Containment Zones are required to be carefully demarcated by the State/UT Governments with a view to containing the spread of COVID-19, after taking into consideration the guidelines issued by MOHFW.
“After extensive consultation with States and Union Territories, it has been decided that schools, colleges, and coaching institutions will remain closed till August 31, 2020,” said MHA’s guidelines.
The guidelines said that opening up metro trains, cinema halls, swimming pools, bars, etc, and allowing public gatherings for politico-social religious purposes will be decided separately. “All activities, except the following, shall be permitted outside containment zones: Metro rail, cinema halls, swimming pools, entertainment parks, theatres, bars, auditoriums, assembly halls, and similar places. Social/ political/ sports/ entertainment/ academic/ cultural/ religious functions and other large congregations. Dates for the opening of these will be decided separately, based on the assessment of the situation,” said MHA.
The States have been authorized to demarcate the containment zones and the strict restrictions will continue in these areas till August 31. District Collectors are directed to notify the containment zones and upload them in the national portal and co-ordinate with Union Health Ministry. “Lockdown shall continue to be implemented strictly in the containment zones till August 31, 2020. Containment zones are required to be carefully demarcated by the State/UT Governments with a view to containing the spread of COVID-19, after taking into consideration the guidelines issued by MOHFW. Within the containment zones, strict perimeter control shall be maintained and only essential activities allowed,” said MHA, adding that States are authorized to decide on the activities outside the containment zones. However, MHA said that there should not be any block on the inter-State movements.
“States and UTs, based on their assessment of the situation, may prohibit certain activities outside the containment zones, or impose such restrictions as deemed necessary. However, there shall be no restriction on inter-State and intra-State movement of persons and goods. No separate permission/ approval/ e-permit will be required for such movements,” said the guidelines.
MHA also said that the vulnerable persons, i.e., persons above 65 years of age, persons with co-morbidities, pregnant women, and children below the age of 10 years, are advised to stay at home, except for meeting essential requirements and for health purposes.