New Delhi [India], Aug 30 (ANI): The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on Saturday issued new guidelines which open up of more activities in areas outside the containment zones in Unlock 4.
The guidelines will come into effect from September 1.
The unlocking process was started to revive economic activities after the lockdown was imposed to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
According to the Ministry, the new guidelines are based on feedback received from states and union territories, and extensive consultations held with related central ministries and departments.
Under the new guidelines, the Ministry of Home Affairs has allowed metro rail services from September 7 in a graded manner.
"Metro rail will be allowed to operate with effect from September 7, 2020 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," a press release said.
The government also allowed social, academic, sports, entertainment, cultural, religious, political functions and other congregations with a ceiling of 100 persons, with effect from September 21, 2020.
However, such limited gatherings can be held with mandatory wearing of face masks, social distancing, provision for thermal scanning and hand wash or sanitizer.
"Open air theatres will be permitted to open with effect from September 21, 2020," it said.
All activities, except cinema halls, swimming pools, entertainment parks, theatres (excluding open air theatre) and similar places, shall be permitted outside containment zones
"Lockdown shall continue to be implemented strictly in the containment zones till September 30, 2020. 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," the ministry said.
The ministry also directed states not to impose any local lockdown outside containment zones.
"State/ UT Governments shall not impose any local lockdown (State/ District/ sub-division/City/ village level), outside the containment zones, without prior consultation with the Central Government," it said.
Restriction on inter-state and intra-state movement has been lifted.
"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."
National directives for COVID-19 management shall continue to be followed throughout the country, with a view to ensuring social distancing. Shops will need to maintain adequate physical distancing among customers. MHA will monitor the effective implementation of national directives.
The ministry said after extensive consultation with States and UTs, it has been decided that schools, colleges, educational and coaching institutions will continue to remain closed for students and regular class activity up to September 30, 2020.
Online/distance learning shall continue to be permitted and shall be encouraged.
"Following will be permitted, in areas outside the containment zones only, with effect from September 21, 2020 for which, SOP will be issued by the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare (MoHFW) - States/ UTs may permit up to 50 per cent of teaching and non-teaching staff to be called to the schools at a time for online teaching/ tele-counselling and related work; 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".
Also from September 21, skill or entrepreneurship training will be permitted in National Skill Training Institutes, Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs), Short term training centres registered with National Skill Development Corporation or State Skill Development Missions or other Ministries of Government of India or State Governments.
National Institute for Entrepreneurship and Small Business Development (NIESBUD), Indian Institute of Entrepreneurship (IIE) and their training providers will also be permitted.
"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," the release said.
Vulnerable persons, i.e., persons above 65 years of age, persons with co-morbidities, pregnant women, and children below the age of 10 years, have been advised to stay at home, except for meeting essential requirements and for health purposes. (ANI)