New Delhi : Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on Saturday issued new guidelines for phased re-opening of “all activities outside containment zones for the next one month beginning June 1”.
“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,” MHA said in a release.
The country is under the fourth phase of lockdown which will continue till May 31. The lockdown was first enforced in March to contain the spread of COVID-19.
In Phase I, religious places and places of worship for public, hotels, restaurants, other hospitality services, and shopping malls will be permitted to open from June 8.
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 Union Territories (UT).
State Governments/UT administrations have been 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. MoHFW will prepare SOPs for these institutions.
Unrestricted movement of persons and goods
The home ministry has also removed all restrictions on inter-state movement. However, the night curfew will continue to remain in force with a revised schedule. The movement of individuals, for all non-essential activities, will be prohibited from 9 pm to 5 am from June 1.
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 people, it will give wide publicity in advance regarding the restrictions to be placed on such movements, and the related procedures will have to be followed, the MHA guidelines said.
With the latest guidelines, only a limited number of activities will remain prohibited throughout the country from June 1. These activities are:
-International air travel of passengers
-Operation of metro rail
-Bars and auditoriums,
-Assembly halls and similar places
-Social/political/sports/entertainment/academic/cultural/religious functions/ and other large congregations
In Phase III, dates for the opening of the above activities will be decided based on an assessment of the situation. However, lockdown shall continue to be implemented strictly in the containment zones.
The containment zones will be demarcated by the state/ UT governments, after taking into consideration the guidelines issued by the Health Ministry. Within the containment zones, strict perimeter control shall be maintained and only essential activities will be allowed.
The nationwide lockdown that the Prime Minister Narendra Modi had first announced on March 24 was slated to end on May 17. Modi had on March 24 announced the nationwide lockdown for 21 days. On May 14, the government extended the lockdown till May 3.
On May 1, the MHA further extended the lockdown period to two weeks beyond May 4, with some relaxations. The Central government had also announced Rs 20 lakh crore stimulus package to combat COVID-19.