Coronavirus lockdown | MHA releases new guidelines for phased reopening

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Ministry of Home Affairs, on Saturday, released new guidelines for phased reopening of the nationwide lockdown which was to end on May 31.

The guidelines will come into effect from June 1, 2020 and will be effective till June 30, 2020. The current phase of re-opening, Unlock 1, will have an economic focus.

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.

In Phase I, religious places and places of worship for 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 are: 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.

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 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.

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