Lockdown 5.0 Guidelines and Rules: States have, however, been given the freedom to prohibit certain activities or put suitable restrictions if they deem it necessary for containment of the Covid outbreak.
In its first clear message that the lockdown is being unwound, the Centre on Saturday issued ‘Unlock 1’ guidelines allowing a phased re-opening of most activities across the country, and limiting the lockdown only to containment zones for a month till June 30. It also cut the night curfew hours from 9 pm to 5 am (7 pm to 7 am till now).
Not only do the guidelines issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) allow re-opening of malls, hotels, restaurants and places of worship from June 8 in Phase I of unwinding, they also allow unfettered movement of goods and persons between states and within states.
States have, however, been given the freedom to prohibit certain activities or put suitable restrictions if they deem it necessary for containment of the Covid outbreak. The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare will issue standard operating procedures for all these activities which are now being permitted.
The guidelines said schools, colleges, educational/ training/ coaching institutions would be re-opened in consultation with states and Union Territories in Phase II. It has suggested states may, in turn, hold consultations at the institution level with parents and other stakeholders and provide feedback to the Centre. “…a decision on the reopening of these institutions will be taken in the month of July 2020,” the guidelines said.
Some activities will continue to remain prohibited, though. These 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, dates for their opening will be decided based on assessment of the situation,” the guidelines said.
The Indian Express had on Saturday reported that malls, restaurants and religious places would open along with relaxation in night curfew in the new guidelines.
Clearly, the spirit of the new phase suggests in how the MHA chose to describe it. The order is called “Guidelines for Phased Re-opening (Unlock 1)” and signed by Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla. Further, it extends the lockdown only in containment zones up to June 30, and “reopens prohibited activities in a phased manner in areas outside of containment zones.”
The attached guidelines reiterated this saying, “All activities that were prohibited earlier will be opened up in areas outside Containment Zones in a phased manner, with the stipulation of following Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), to be prescribed by the Health Ministry.”
Source: Indian Express