In an order to contain the spread of coronavirus, the central government on Saturday extended the nationwide lockdown in the containment zones till June 30. Likewise, new guidelines have been issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) for the phased re-opening of all activities outside containment zones for the next month. The guidelines will come into effect from June 1, 2020, and will be effective till June 30, 2020.
As per the report, all the activities that were prohibited earlier will be opened up in areas outside the Containment Zones in a phased manner, with the stipulation of following Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), to be prescribed by the Health Ministry.
In Phase, I, the religious places and places of worship for the public; hotels, restaurants, and other hospitality services; and shopping malls; will be permitted to open from June 8, 2020.
Health Ministry will issue SOPs for the above activities, in consultation with the Central Ministries/ Departments concerned and other stakeholders, for ensuring social distancing and to contain the spread of COVID-19.
In Phase II, schools, colleges, educational/ training/ coaching institutions, etc., will be opened after consultations with States and UTs. State Governments/ UT administrations are being advised to hold consultations at the institution level 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.
MoHFW will prepare SOP for these institutions. Only a limited number of activities will remain prohibited throughout the country. These activities include International air travel of passengers; operation of Metro Rail; cinema halls, gymnasiums, swimming pools, entertainment parks, theatres, bars and auditoriums, assembly halls and similar places; and, social/ political/ sports/ entertainment/ academic/ cultural/ religious functions/ and other large congregations.
In Phase III, the dates for their opening will be decided based on assessment of the situation. These will be demarcated by the State/ UT Governments, after taking into consideration the guidelines issued by the Health Ministry.
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. However, if a State/ UT, based on reasons of public health and its assessment of the situation, proposes to regulate the movement of persons, it will give wide publicity in advance regarding the restrictions to be placed on such movement, and the related procedures to be followed.
Night Curfew shall continue to remain in force, on the movement of individuals, for all non-essential activities. However, the revised timings of the curfew will be from 9 pm to 5 am.
The 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. The vulnerable persons, i.e., persons above the age of 65 years, 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.