The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on Saturday issued new guidelines for opening up of more activities in areas outside the Containment Zones. In Unlock 4, which will come into effect from September 1, the process of phased re-opening of activities has been extended further.
The metro rail will be allowed to operate with effect from September 7 in a graded manner, by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MOHUA)/ Ministry of Railways (MOR), in consultation with MHA. In this regard, Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) will be issued by MOHUA.
Likewise, the social, academic, sports, entertainment, cultural, religious, political functions and other congregations will be permitted with a ceiling of 100 persons, with effect from September 21. However, such limited gatherings can be held with mandatory wearing of face masks, social distancing, provision for thermal scanning and hand wash or sanitizer.
The Open air theatres will be permitted to open with effect from September 21. The Schools, colleges, educational and coaching institutions will continue to remain closed for students and regular class activity up to September 30, however, online/distance learning shall continue to be permitted and shall be encouraged.
States/ UTs may permit upto 50 percent of teaching and non-teaching staff to be called to the schools at a time for online teaching/ tele- counselling and related work.
The students of classes 9 to 12 may be permitted to visit their schools, in areas outside the Containment Zones only, on voluntary basis, for taking guidance from their teachers. This will be subject to written consent of their parents/ guardians.
Higher Education Institutions only for research scholars (Ph.D.) and post-graduate students of technical and professional programmes requiring laboratory/ experimental works. These will be permitted by the Department of Higher Education (DHE) in consultation with MHA, based on the assessment of the situation, and keeping in view incidence of COVID-19 in the States/ UTs.
All activities, except the following, shall be permitted outside containment zones:
(i) Cinema halls, swimming pools, entertainment parks, theatres (excluding open air theatre) and similar places.
(ii) International air travel of passengers, except as permitted by MHA.
Meanwhile, lockdown shall continue to be implemented strictly in the Containment Zones till September, 30. The Containment Zones shall be demarcated by the District authorities at micro level after taking into consideration the guidelines of MoHFW with the objective of effectively breaking the chain of transmission. Strict containment measures will be enforced in these containment zones and only essential activities will be allowed.