India is opening up on June 8 except in containment zones decided by the states. The Union Home Ministry (MHA) on Saturday issued guidelines to open up malls, hotels, hospitality services, and religious places from June 8 with strict social distancing norms like wearing of a mask, etc. The schools’ and colleges’ opening will be decided by the States in consultation with stakeholders in July. The lockdown guidelines will be effective in containment zones up to June 30 and only essential services will be permitted in these areas.
The MHA’s new guidelines say after assessment of the situation opening up of international airlines, metro rail, cinema halls, swimming pools, bars, auditoriums, and social-political gathering will be decided later. The night curfew is cut down between 9 PM to 5 AM throughout the country except for essential services. Local authorities are permitted to implement section 144 in this regard, said MHA, giving more power to States.
Containment zones’ geographical area and demarcation will be decided by the States and powers are given to local authorities for house to house and patient tracing. States are empowered to demarcate buffer zones outside containment zones were new cases likely to occur, said MHA.
“There shall be no restriction on inter-state or intra-state movements of persons and goods. However States are empowered to take a decision on non-permitting based on public health scenario and must be done with wide publicity,” said MHA’s new guidelines.
The guidelines insisted that wearing of masks in public places is compulsory and also said that persons above 65 and children below 10 years and pregnant women and patients are advised to stay at home, except for essential purposes. There is no mandatory rule for downloading controversial Aarogya Setu App and MHA said it as an only advisable one.
The MHA insisted on social distancing with a minimum distance of six feet in public places. Gathering for marriages is limited to 50 only and 20 persons are allowed for funerals. Consumption of liquor, smoking, and chewing pan in public places are continued to be banned. The guidelines also asked companies to the staggering of working or business hours and frequent sanitization and ensure social distancing in office premises.
The detailed MHA Guidelines are published below: